Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050

Housing context

18 Housing costs in Oxfordshire are high, with both purchasing and renting costs above average. Although incomes and disposable incomes are above average, the wage to house price ratio is still very poor, making Oxfordshire one of the least affordable parts of the Country in which to live. Affordability ratios are 12.3 in Oxford, 11.86 in South Oxfordshire, 11.24 in West Oxfordshire, 9.75 in Cherwell and 8.93 in the Vale of White Horse. This compares to a ratio of 7.9 in England as a whole and 10.3 in the South East. The Centre for Cities Outlook states Oxford as the least affordable city in the UK.

19 High house prices threaten quality of life and wellbeing in Oxfordshire with issues such as overcrowding and homelessness on the rise. There are also implications for local businesses and the economy with large employers in health and education and social care sectors having problems with staff recruitment and retention due to the high cost of living.

20 There are variations in house prices and availability across the county with district market towns and villages providing relatively affordable housing compared to the city. Many people choose to commute from areas where housing is relatively affordable to higher paid jobs elsewhere causing congestion on Oxfordshire's constrained transport network with knock on implications for the environment, economic productivity, air pollution and quality of life.