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27 February 2019 3287 Views

Renowned internationally for its designer shopping outlet, Bicester has long been the jewel in Oxfordshire’s crown, attracting millions of visitors annually who are on the hunt for a little luxury for less. But there’s more to this vibrant market town than cut-price designer items, particularly when it comes to property.

Bicester offers fantastic connectivity – it’s just 15 minutes into the centre of Oxford and around 45 minutes into central London, making it a dream for commuters who like to work or play in either city. But there’s one crucial benefit that Bicester offers investors over its larger neighbours; more affordable and increasing house prices.

London and Oxford have seen house prices increase by 86 and 82 per cent respectively over the past 10 years, which means that now both cities have unfortunately priced many out of the market. As a result, increasing numbers of buyers and renters are choosing to look instead to areas outside but within easy reach of the cities for more affordable alternatives.

Bicester, with its 160+ designer shops, great transport links and Garden Town status – awarded in 2014 – presents a great location as a place to live with all amenities to hand, yet house prices are a fraction of city prices.

Like several commuter areas, Bicester’s attraction has increased significantly over recent years amongst those looking for all the luxury for a little less stretch on their pocket, which has been a catalyst for increased investment and regeneration to bolster its appeal and attract further growth.

Through its Garden Town status and Cherwell District Council’s 20-year ‘Growing Bicester’ initiative which aims to develop 10,000 new homes, create 18,500 jobs and regenerate the town centre by 2031, Bicester is currently enjoying £millions worth of investment.

As well as this, sitting along the growth corridor between Oxford and Cambridge, Bicester has been tipped as one of Oxfordshire’s fastest growing economic centres and is set to benefit from the East-West Rail Project, due to complete in 2022.

As such the town’s population is tipped to almost double during this period, from 30,000 to 50,000.

This means significant transformation and growth in the town which, whilst it remains affordable for now, is likely to push up house prices over the coming years.

For savvy investors buying into the town now, Bicester offers an attractive proposition for capital gains, coupled with a good return from rental income – which currently sits between five and six per cent, compared to Oxford’s three per cent.

Bill Cooper, managing director at Martin & Co, Oxford, said: “Whilst Oxford remains popular amongst investors and tenants, areas such as Bicester are fast becoming a strong alternative as both parties look for better value for their money. Bicester is more affordable to both buy and rent, offering landlords the potential to achieve higher rental yields whilst still being more affordable to the tenant.

So where to invest in Bicester?

A key element of Bicester’s growth is set to come from its ground-breaking Graven Hill development, which will introduce an entirely new, green village community to the area, just five minutes from the train station.

At the heart of Graven Hill sits Trinity House, a new development of 69 luxury open-plan apartments, available for off-plan purchase through SevenCapital.

Set to complete in 2020, Trinity House apartments will offer tenants panoramic views of the surrounding Oxfordshire countryside, amenities including shops, pubs and schools on their doorstep and a five-minute walk to the train station.

Andy Foote, director at SevenCapital, added: “Graven Hill apartments are Oxfordshire’s best kept investment secret, because they truly are a unique offering in this increasingly popular region.

“Close enough to Oxford for an effortless commute, they will appeal to future tenants who want to live the city lifestyle without having to sacrifice on quality or space at home. For shoppers, the apartments will be a dream with their close proximity to Bicester Village. We expect this development to prove extremely popular.”

One-bedroom apartments are already sold out within Trinity House, however two-beds remain, with prices from just £239,950.

Find out more about investing in Bicester and Trinity House.

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