Thinking of buying a home in the City of Dreaming Spires? Our research highlights the most affordable spots in Oxford and its surrounding areas.

When it comes to taking your first step on the property ladder, location is key but can often involve compromise. So where should you look for affordable homes if your first-choice area is financially out of reach?

This is where Zoopla can help. Our data looks at average house prices to show how much a first-time buyer needs to earn and save for a deposit to buy a home in the UK.

If you’re planning to buy in Oxford or Oxfordshire, our map, below, shows you the areas that are most affordable.

Most affordable areas for first-time buyers in Oxford

Buy property in Oxford affordability heat map

(Click on map for larger version)

Quick stats about Oxford:

  • The average first-time buyer property (two-to-three-bedroom house) in Oxford costs £404,198, with the average deposit required being £69,158.
  • The average drops substantially when the surrounding areas are also taken into account, with first-time buyers typically needing a £52,162 deposit to buy a £307,915 home. 
  • Average income required from a first-time buyer household in Oxford is £84,895, while including the surrounding areas, this dips to £63,938.
  • Oxford regularly makes the list as one of the least affordable cities to buy a home in the country, the average loan to income ratio stands at 11.43 in the city and 9.67 if the surrounding postcodes are included. Lenders will normally let you borrow four times your income.
  • The most affordable area in the wider Oxford area is Banbury (OX16), where the average first-time buyer house price stands at £226,484. To buy there, you would typically need a deposit of £38,751 and required income of £46,933. The historic market town sits on the River Cherwell and is a bustling retail and commerce centre.
  • For first-time buyer bargains closer to Oxford city centre itself, try Cowley, Blackbird Leys, Littlemore or Iffley (OX4). The area is home to a wide range of amenities including shops, restaurants and leisure facilities, along with Oxford United’s home ground, the Kassam Stadium.
  • Jericho, Summertown and Botley (OX2) represent the least affordable option for first-time buyers. Here the average price of a home will set you back £469,795 and require a household income of £101,000.

Postcode areas in Oxford ranked by affordability

Postcode

Area

Average house price

Average deposit required

Average household income required

OX4

Cowley, Blackbird Leys, Littlemore Sandford-on-Thames, Iffley, Rose Hill

£351,637

£60,165

£72,868

OX44

Chalgrove, Cuddesdon, Great Milton, Stadhampton,

£387,424

£66,288

£80,500

OX3

Beckley, Headington, Marston, Elsfield, Noke, Woodeaton

£400,562

£68,536

£83,750

OX33

Wheatley, Forest Hill, Holton, Horspath, Horton-cum-Studley, Littleworth, Milton Common, Waterperry, Woodperry

£402,478

£68,864

£84,250

OX1

Central and South Oxford, Kennington, Boars Hill, New Hinksey, South Hinksey, Osney

£413,295

£70,715

£87,000

OX2

North and West Oxford, Botley, North Hinksey, Summertown, Wytham, Jericho, Wolvercote

£469,795

£80,382

£101,000

Postcode areas around Oxford ranked by affordability

Postcode

Area

Average house price

Average deposit required

Average household income required

OX16

Banbury

£226,484

£38,751

£46,933

OX18

Bampton, Burford, Carterton

£282,955

£48,414

£58,635

OX26

Bicester, Chesterton, Launton

£286,696

£49,054

£59,410

OX12

Wantage, Grove Sparsholt

£289,735

£49,574

£60,040

OX28

Witney

£299,014

£51,161

£61,963

OX11

Didcot, Blewbury, Harwell, Chilton, Aston Tirrold, Aston Upthorpe, South Moreton, Upton

£299,466

£51,239

£62,057

OX14

Abingdon, Clifton Hampden, Culham, Drayton, Long Wittenham, Radley, Milton, Sutton Courtenay

£312,674

£53,498

£64,794

OX17

Adderbury, Chipping Warden, Chacombe, Hanwell, King’s Sutton, Middleton Cheney, Sulgrave

£310,868

£45,884

£66,246

OX25

Ambrosden, Lower Heyford, Middleton Stoney, Somerton, Steeple Aston, Upper Heyford, Wendlebury, Weston-on-the-Green

£322,721

£55,218

£66,876

OX27

Baynards Green, Fringford, Fritwell, Hethe, Marsh Gibbon, Poundon

£324,527

£55,527

£67,250

How have we calculated it?

We've looked at the average price of two-to-three-bedroom homes - the most common type of property purchase for first-time buyers in the region.

We've then taken the average mortgage advance from lenders and worked out both the average deposit required and the amount that needs to be earned based on buyers being able to borrow up to four times their salary.

How can I afford a home as a first-time buyer?

The first step to getting on the property ladder is to build up as big a deposit as possible. This will allow you to borrow a lower percentage of the overall value of the property and reassure lenders that it is safe to offer you a better mortgage rate.

Aim for at least a 10% deposit. While it is possible to put down less in some cases, the trade-off is either higher monthly repayments or a longer-term mortgage.

The Government's dedicated Help to Buy schemes are there to help you become a homeowner. For certain property, you can also use the Equity Loan scheme, where the Government will lend you 20% of the purchase price interest-free for the first five years. However, you will only be able to use it on a new-build home valued up to £600,000.

As long as your credit score is in good order and your outgoings do not limit your ability to repay a mortgage, banks and building societies will generally lend up to an average of four times your salary. If you are buying as a couple, then combining your incomes should enhance your borrowing options.

Once you’ve established how big your deposit is and how much you might be able to borrow, you’ll have a good idea of your budget. Then you can start the exciting part of the process and begin house hunting.

Don’t forget that there will be other fees along the way such as solicitor and moving costs. The good news is that stamp duty land tax is waived for first-time buyers on the first £300,000 of the purchase.

For more help purchasing your first home, read our first-time buyers guides here.

First-time buyer affordability in South East England

Oxford sits on the edge of the South East region, where homes for first time-buyers cost £339,510 on average and require a deposit of £58,090 and a household income of £71,524.

It's noticeably less than central Oxford’s averages, but still far pricier than the average for the country (£233,777).

But despite the region being one of the least affordable in the country, there are still pockets where you can find less expensive homes.

Swindon to the south west of Oxford is well suited to first time buyers, as is Northampton further north.

Alternatively, you can head down to the coast, where options include Portsmouth and nearby Gosport and Havant. Parts of Southampton are also worth investigating for first-time buyers.

Heat map of affordable place to live South East

(Click on image for larger map)

First-time buyer affordability in the UK

If you're prepared to cast your search further afield still, then our first-time buyer affordability map of the UK will help.

There are other affordable alternatives to the South East if you head west into Wales, where even the capital, Cardiff, can provide a viable alternative. The West Midlands is another option, with Hereford, Birmingham and Coventry likely to appeal to first-time buyers.

It's also worth noting that while the UK-wide map might provide a helpful overview, the property market varies on a far more local level and you really need to take a closer look at locations, like we've done with Oxford, above to seek out value.

Map showing affordable housing in the UK for first-time buyers

Full methodology: House prices taken from a subset of Zoopla-partner Hometrack's stock valuation database (one-to-two beds for London and two-to-three bedrooms for rest of UK). Median price calculated as of June 2018. Median advance taken by region (c75% for London, c85% outside of London) from UK Finance. Term of Mortgage: 25 years. Interest rate: 2.00%. Loan to income ratio: 4.0. Earnings required for affordability is greater of those required to satisfy loan-to-income threshold or income required to service the mortgage.

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