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Can Oxford property market compete with Cambridge?

31st March 2010 Print
Kaleidoscope in Cambridge

The rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge University is hardly a well kept secret, and with the annual Oxford and Cambridge boat race; one of the world’s longest running sports events, taking to the water on the 3rd April, Crest Nicholson is challenging the property market in Oxford to rival the success it is seeing in Cambridge.

Crest Nicholson is seeing sales at its Kaleidoscope development in Cambridge surge ahead of other developments, which is contributing to a significant uplift in the city’s property market, which estate agents say is outperforming that of Oxford and much of the rest of the country.

If sales figures at Crest Nicholson’s inspirational development, Kaleidoscope, are anything to go by, where over 50% of properties in its newly released Sepia building have sold in the last five months, defying typical market averages; Cambridge looks set to beat Oxford in the market recovery stakes.

David Bentley, Head of Cambridge new homes for Bidwells Estate Agents, comments: “The residential market has recovered well over the last nine months and we have seen a notable rise in the number of property investors and cash rich buyers coming back to the market in Cambridge. Developments such as Kaleidoscope are proving extremely popular, as they offer a top quality product in a prime location. With a shortage of similar stock on the market, this has meant that prices have recovered as much as 10% in certain areas of the city and we expect this to continue throughout the year, perhaps softening only slightly during the election process. Would-be investors should capitalise now before prices rise much further.”

Cambridge is also a popular choice for homebuyers because of its excellent travel links; Cambridge railway station provides a non-stop service to London Kings Cross in just 45 minutes, rivalling Oxford’s journey time of 56 minutes into London Paddington. Alternatively, the M11 is just six miles away providing a swift route to Stansted Airport and the motorway network beyond.

Annette Cole, Sales and Marketing Director at Crest Nicholson (Eastern) Ltd, comments: “Cambridge is an extremely cosmopolitan city, steeped in history and buzzing with contemporary culture, and with the quick transport connections into London, it is no surprise that many people chose to relocate to the city or stay here after finishing university. Even in what has been a tough market, we have continued to receive an excellent level of interest at Kaleidoscope and we have certainly noticed increasing numbers of people who are now able to proceed with purchasing. The development is well suited to owner occupiers and investors alike, and apartments at Kaleidoscope continue to be in high demand in the local rental market.”

Ideal for those looking to make the most out of living at the heart of the city, Kaleidoscope boasts a sophisticated range of 408 properties in total. The development has been meticulously master-planned to create a lively community with a strong sense of place. Designed by award-winning architects Proctor and Matthews, whose other work includes the Greenwich Millennium Village, the development incorporates traditional, locally sourced materials with the architecture imaginatively using feature panels in a variety of colours. Combining a sleek, modern exterior with a classic and stylish interior, homes at Kaleidoscope will, when complete, be dispersed across 11 architecturally unique buildings and landscaped areas that will be linked by a sequence of shared spaces.

Prices at Kaleidoscope start from £230,000 for a one bedroom apartment. For further information, visit:

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Kaleidoscope in Cambridge