Reignited, real estate growth in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

Aug 02, 2020

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POST-PANDEMIC work trends could lead to real estate growth in the Oxford Cambridge Arc, a law firm has speculated as the property market begins to reignite.

With the country returning to work and many staff having worked remotely during the peak of Covid-19, it seems likely that employers will adapt to a more flexible way of working for the foreseeable future, with fewer people going into the office five days a week.

In fact, Milton Keynes has been named as one of three areas in the UK with increases of more than 100 per cent in buyer inquiries since the Stamp Duty holiday announcement by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak last month. The city currently leads the commuter belt property boom as buyers chase stamp duty savings with buyer enquiries in the £400,000-£500,000 price in Milton Keynes up by 136pc in a week.

The arc is an arching sweep of land between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge which was identified by the government as an area of high economic growth, earmarked for one million new homes in the region by 2050.

Yvette Morgan, a partner in Hewitsons’ real estate team, said: “Work from home practices during the outbreak have proved that daily commuting may no longer be necessary for all, meaning that office staff will not necessarily need to commute long distances on a daily basis.

Yvette Morgan, real estate partner at Hewitsons.

“As we see the real estate market beginning to reignite, we are beginning to ask if there will be a potential increased demand for property in the arc region as fewer people will be travelling into the office every day and therefore those travelling into London may cast their property search net further afield.”

She added: “While funding is yet to be fully determined, this corridor is a key to the next phase of growth for both Oxford and Cambridge, as well as Milton Keynes, and other major clusters in between.”

Hewitsons acts for both public sector and private developers, including the government’s housing accelerator Homes England, AW James, Bedford College, Stepnell Limited and residential developers Campbell Buchanan and Hill Residential.

As a leading regional law firm with offices in Cambridge, London, Milton Keynes and Northampton, Hewitsons is ideally placed to assist its clients in making the most of the opportunities provided by the arc.

Yvette said: “A dedicated Oxford Cambridge Arc team of specialists from across our offices is already providing comprehensive and commercial legal solutions to landowners, developers, investors and businesses alike, and we continue to support clients in their investment and expansion plans. Let us hope the positive news continues.”

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