40% of prime property in Oxford sells to international buyers, says Knight Frank

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Knight Frank’s Oxford office has reported that they have sold to 13 nationalities in the last 12 months, with international buyers accounting for 40% of Knight Frank’s prime property in Oxford City in 2011.

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Providing an interpreter is now part of our weekly business, with overseas buyers becoming extremely focused. If they see something they like and it adds up, they make very fast decisions and look to close a deal quickly with little borrowings.

Knight Frank’s Oxford office has reported that they have sold to 13 nationalities in the last 12 months. Drawn to the city due to its reputation as a cultural hub, thriving technology sector, the outstanding education on offer and the lure of the University colleges, international buyers bought 40% of Knight Frank’s prime property in Oxford City in 2011.

Damian Gray, partner at Knight Frank and Head of the Oxford office, comments: “London is not the only city to see a dramatic influx of foreign buyers. The UK is still internationally perceived to be a safe economy and, combined with a weak Sterling, this has led to a significant increase in foreign buyers in Oxford over the last year.

“Providing an interpreter is now part of our weekly business, with overseas buyers becoming extremely focused. If they see something they like and it adds up, they make very fast decisions and look to close a deal quickly with little borrowings.”

Having historically weathered economic storms very well, Oxford has always been a popular choice for both domestic and overseas buyers. However, in the last two years, Knight Frank’s Oxford office has seen sales to international applicants rise by 50%, with the strongest demand for houses valued at over £2.5m and a marked increase in buyers from Asia and Russia.

Damian adds: “We have recently sold three properties to buyers from Asia; in one instance, the buyer was only in the country for a limited period of time so we took them on a tour and by the end of the day they had bought. As well as the being attracted by the excellent schooling and arguably the most famous University, other factors that appeal to Asian buyers include the growth of innovative technology companies and the large number of teaching hospitals. Shopping also comes into the equation, as we are also often asked how far Bicester Village Retail Park is.

“Oxford has often been described by overseas buyers as ‘London without the edges’. We cannot see this perception changing and it will be extremely interesting to see what will potentially be a far more diverse City population in 5 to 10 years’ time.”

For further information, please contact Oxford estate agents:

Damian Gray, Partner and Oxford Office Head, Knight Frank:
+44 (0)1865 264 851, +44 (0) 7798 882495, damian(dot)gray(at)knightfrank(dot)com

Charlotte Palmer, Country PR Manager, Knight Frank:
+44 (0)20 7861 5037, +44 (0) 7766 775 832, charlotte(dot)palmer(at)knightfrank(dot)com

Notes to Editors
Knight Frank LLP is the leading independent global property consultancy. Headquartered in London, Knight Frank and its New York-based global partner, Newmark Knight Frank, operate from 207 offices, in 43 countries, across six continents. More than 6,340 professionals handle in excess of US$886 billion (£594 billion) worth of commercial, agricultural and residential real estate annually, advising clients ranging from individual owners and buyers to major developers, investors and corporate tenants. For further information about the Company, please visit http://www.knightfrank.com.

About Residential Research
Research provides strategic advice, consultancy services and forecasting to a wide range of clients worldwide including developers, investors, financial and corporate institutions. Our research reports are available at http://www.knightfrank.com/research

The Knight Frank Country House Index is a valuation based index, compiled quarterly from valuations prepared by professional staff in every Knight Frank Country House office in the UK. The index is based on the valuation of a comprehensive basket of properties throughout all UK regions based on actual sales evidence. Knight Frank tracks the performance of three country house property categories; cottages, farmhouses and manor houses. A typical manor house comprises a large property standing in extensive grounds. A typical farmhouse has six bedrooms, several acres of land including garden, paddock and barns. A typical cottage has about one acre of land, is detached, and has four bedrooms.

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