While Cambridge sailed past Oxford to win the annual university boat race in March, it was the not the only time it has beaten its fierce rival this year.
The famous university town of Cambridge has topped residential analyst Hometrack’s city house price index, with the average cost of a home jumping by almost 16% to £411,900 ($602,746) from April 2015 to April 2016. In contrast, prices in Oxford rose 7.1% to £393,100.
Cambridge’s strong rise was partly due to a rush of rental investors piling into the market ahead of a higher sales tax introduced last month for those wishing to rent out properties. The city has a strong rental market as investors look to capitalize on its large student population.
London was in second place in Hometrack’s monthly analysis of house price growth in Britain’s 20 largest cities, with growth of 14.4% to £466,000, while Aberdeen in Scotland suffered the largest drop of 6.1%.
House prices in Aberdeen, where around 40,000 jobs are dependent on black gold, soared over the past couple of decades, but now the lower oil price continues to impact the economy and demand for housing.
Hometrack’s analysis also found that if Britons vote in favor of the U.K. leaving the European Union in the upcoming referendum on June 23, it would most likely result in a 5% to 10% fall in sales, with London bearing the brunt of the slowdown. This would in turn put downward pressure on home prices.
“The rate of national house price growth would undoubtedly slow, but the scale of this will depend upon the economic impact and whether mortgage rates increase. The greater the direct impact on the economy then the greater the downside for turnover and house prices,” it said.
“The London market faces greater headwinds irrespective of the Referendum vote. Turnover fell 7% last year on the back of affordability constraints and weaker overseas demand. Tax changes for investors will reduce demand and we expect price growth to slow in the near future even if the pound were to weaken and improve the relative value of central London property.”