Average house prices in Oxford ‘become least affordable in Britain’

By: University of Oxford News Office

Average house prices in the South East, and especially London, rose even faster during 2014 (January to December) than in the same period of 2013, says new research. Once the average income is also taken into account, house prices in Oxford during 2014 even out-paced London. The findings by Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, are published in his new paperback book, All that is Solid: How the Great Housing Disaster defines our Times and What We Can Do About It, to be published on 26 February. He explains that one significant factor is that Oxford employees have lower incomes on average, with the London weighting allowance only applying to a small percentage of Oxford’s workers who commute to London.

The paperback book, coming a year after the book’s hardback release, includes more recent data on the leap in house prices in parts of England, Wales and Scotland, as compared with the latest government data on average earnings.

Professor Dorling said: “My own latest analysis from October 2014 to January 2015 shows that the ratio of average house prices to incomes in Oxford rose to over 15 times the average annual income as compared with 14 in London. This is reinforced by similar findings from the London-based Centre for Cities think tank, which has found that Oxford’s housing is now the least affordable in the nation.”

According to Professor Dorling’s research, the average cost of a house in Oxford in 2014 was £426,720, well outstripping the average income of £26,500 of Oxford city workers. Meanwhile, in London, the average house price in 2014 was £501,520, with the average income of people working in London set at around £31,950. During 2014, house prices in London went up by £45,620 on average compared with 2013 when they were around £34,150 above an average property sold in 2012. In Oxford, prices leapt by around £37,850 for an average property sold in 2014 as compared with 2013 prices which were around £13,090 higher than in 2012. Although average property prices in London are still higher than in Oxford, the average income of Londoners outstripped average incomes in Oxford by nearly £5,500 in 2014.

Professor Dorling commented: “Fewer and fewer people are able to get a mortgage as stricter tests are imposed to prevent the banks from lending as recklessly as they did before. Meanwhile, at least a third of those with mortgages would struggle if mortgages were to rise by even a couple of percentage points at some point in future years. The further that house prices rise, the greater that proportion will grow, leaving a growing proportion of people with no option but to rent.”

According to Professor Dorling’s analysis, other parts of the country where average house prices were much higher than average incomes in 2014 were Cambridge (14.8 times higher); Brighton (12.2 times), Reading (10.1 times) and Milton Keynes (8.0 times). Cities where house prices were calculated as less expensive relative to the local average annual income in 2014, were Liverpool (5.8 times); Derby (6.2 times); Nottingham (6.8 times); Swansea (6.7 times) and Birmingham (7.3 times).

Professor Dorling added: “Compared with earlier decades, house prices across the UK are extremely high when compared with the average take home pay. The more ‘affordable’ parts of the country also have high ratios that just look relatively better compared with the unprecedented expense of current housing costs in London and Oxford.’

For more information, contact the University of Oxford News Office on +44 (0)1865 280534 or email news.office@admin.ox.ac.uk

This posting originally appeared on the University of Oxford website

Big Data in Big Cities – the GOTO Hackathon 2015

By: Bill Imlah, Oxford Internet Institute

Hackathon Logo

The GOTO Hackathon 2015 is an event for all University of Oxford students and alumni, focussing on Big Data – specifically how Big Data can be utilised to resolve the issues large cities around the globe face in the 21st Century.

The event launches on Friday 27th Feb, with an evening presentation where attendees will be encouraged to form their teams and agree which city they will focus on. A world map, to show which cities are being addressed by which team, will go up in the entrance hall. More than one team can work on a particular city.

On Saturday 28th February the hack begins (9am-10pm), with teams working together on the posed challenge or question of their chosen city. The resulting output for the project can be all or any one of:

  • An app
  • A poster
  • A short film
  • A business plan

Talks on presentation skills, poster workshops and app fitting will run through Saturday and Sunday, and roving mentors will be onsite to office advice and assistance. Food and drink will be provided throughout the days.

The hack will continue through to Sunday 1st Mar (10am 4pm), with groups working towards the deadline on their chosen projects. Individuals may also produce and submit a reflective essay of no more than 600 words on the Hackathon experience.

Staggered submission dates will be confirmed for each category over Monday 2nd – Sunday 8th March. Teams can continue to work on projects up until the submission date/time. Submitted posters & visual projects to be displayed around The Business School.

This posting originally appeared on the website of the Oxford Digital Economy Collaboration Group

The Urban Design Group

Oxford Brookes University’s Urban Design Group is one of the largest UK providers of research expertise in urban design and conservation matters. Its research activity is of national and international standing. Its clients include, amongst others, UK government / agencies, local government, the commercial sector, community and voluntary sectors and a number of international agencies, governments and research councils.

About OISD

The Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD), founded in 2004, is one of the UK’s largest research institutes dedicated to sustainable development research in the built and natural environments. OISD, which consists of eight distinct research groups, addresses the multiple dimensions of sustainable development and the synergies and processes that link them, through a multi- and inter-disciplinary approach. OISD is contributing to major Research Council programmes such as Living with Environmental Change, Energy research, Sustainable Urban Environments and Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, through various research grants.

Oxford’s Transport Studies Unit

Seeking to advance innovative approaches to the study of transport futures

The Transport Studies Unit (TSU) takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of transport futures, drawing on relevant, state-of-the art developments in geography, environmental and transport studies, economics, sociology, psychology and the engineering sciences.

The TSU is a research centre based at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. It has an established international research reputation in the fields of transport policy analysis, the development of new methodologies and behavioural studies. The TSU’s mission is to maintain and enhance this reputation for excellence in research and to extend it into teaching.

To this end, the TSU aims to be at the leading edge in national and international transport developments. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the social, economic and environmental implications of transport over both time and space. The TSU’s work ranges in geographic scale from the local to the global, and the full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative research techniques is deployed.

The TSU is committed to:

  • undertaking integrated and collaborative research;
  • creating dynamic partnerships with government, business, NGOs and the public;
  • informing public and corporate policy and the wider community; and
  • making its research insights accessible to all.