Oxford Home Search

Oxford, known as The City of Dreaming Spires, is steeped in history and culture, and is famous worldwide for its university, the oldest in the English-speaking world. Yet it is also a modern city with significant industrial and scientific importance,

Oxford’s business infrastructure, excellent schools, cultural facilities, large areas of parkland, and one hour commute to London make it a convenient, attractive, and often expensive place to live. Demand for properties to buy and rent is high, and there is intense competition for the most sought-after properties near the best schools.These factor all combine to make discussions from clients about an Oxford home search a frequent one.

Property styles are diverse and include Regency crescents, Victorian terraces and cottages, 1930s semi-detached houses, and new-build developments. Those in search of country homes, barn conversions, a bungalow, or a thatched cottage, will need to head out of Oxford to the surrounding  villages.

Those wishing to live in the heart of the city centre will struggle to find suitable properties as the very centre of Oxford contains mostly colleges, university buildings , and the famous landmarks, museums, and tourist attractions, as well as the main shopping area.

The most sought-after residential areas of Oxford for a home search are to the north of the city centre:

Jericho, immediately to the north-west, mostly features rows of small Victorian terraces built for the workers of Oxford University Press and the Jericho Iron and Brass Foundry. Many of the houses have been developed and extended with basement and loft conversions, but retain their period features. Jericho’s narrow streets form a cosmopolitan community with cafes, bars, restaurants, boutiques, and an art-house cinema. Redevelopment of the industrial and void areas means there is also a small selection of modern houses and apartments.

North-east of Jericho is the compact Walton Manor conservation area with its late Georgian terraces, larger Victorian properties and some recent new-build developments. To the west of Jericho and Walton Manor is the Oxford Canal, which links Oxford to Coventry, and the 300-acre Port Meadow, a vast area of common land.

Central North Oxford lies between the city centre and Summertown. With its wide tree-lined roads, and large houses with substantial gardens, this area has some of the most sought-after property in the city. Central North Oxford is largely made up of the North Oxford Victorian Suburb conservation area, which also contains older Regency properties in the crescents of Park Town.

Summertown began life as a small Regency village in 1820 and is now one of the most expensive and sought after suburbs of Oxford.  Although technically smaller, it is now generally accepted that ‘Summertown’ is used to describe a larger residential area, with its vibrant shopping area along a portion of Banbury Road and South Parade at its heart. The variety of architecture in Summertown includes a few original Regency properties, Victorian Gothic Revival houses, 1960s and 1970s blocks, and modern new builds.

Another particular attraction of North Oxford is its excellent schools, which include the renowned Dragon School and Summer Fields, which are preparatory schools, and St Edward’s School, Oxford High School for Girls, St Clare’s, and Cherwell School.

To the west of the city is the hamlet of Boars Hill, and Cumnor Hill, which lies between Botley and Cumnor. These are rural settings where large detached houses, ranging from the Edwardian era to new-builds, are generally set in plots upward of one third of an acre.

To the east, from The Plain roundabout, lies the East Oxford ‘Golden Triangle’, contained by St Clements to the north, Iffley Road to the south, and reaching eastward to roughly Divinity Road. Historically a rather run down student area, it is now a vibrant cosmopolitan community with a wide range of shops and restaurants, and attractive to young professionals and families.

Further east is Headington, where the main employment sectors are medicine, education, and research. In the centre of Headington are a number of shops, pubs, cafés, restaurants, and other services. The area also includes the main campus of Oxford Brookes University, Ruskin College, and the city’s main hospitals, including the John Radcliffe, Nuffield, and Churchill. Probably the most famous modern landmark in the area is The Headington Shark, a rooftop sculpture that can be found in New High Street.

Hidden away just north of the centre of Headington is the original characterful village now known as Old Headington. The first written record of the area is in a royal charter from 1004, and it is also mentioned in the Domesday Book.

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