With stamp duty reforms set to be introduced from April 2016, local housing experts are encouraging landlords and second home owners to act now and make the most of excellent investment conditions at The Garden Quarter, an outstanding development restored and newly built homes on the site of the former RAF Bicester.
Set within 23 acres of tranquil, landscaped gardens, The Garden Quarter enjoys an enviable location surrounded by superb countryside, yet with fantastic road and rail links to local towns and larger cities, with nearby Bicester North station providing regular train services to London Marylebone (48 minutes) and Oxford is only 12 miles away.
Investors have already been taking advantage of excellent buy-to-let conditions and Hayley Cobbett, a recent purchaser, is one of a number of new landlords at the development. She says:
“My sister already owned a property at The Garden Quarter and I thought it would be an astute idea to invest in the development too. The development is on the fringes of Bicester town centre, which is currently one of the fastest growing towns in Oxfordshire. With excellent commuting options to Oxford and London I was quite confident that I would be able to find a tenant relatively quickly.”
Stylish and contemporary in design, The Garden Quarter is a private community that includes a number of carefully restored and converted historic buildings. The homes, built in either a Neo-Georgian style or reflective of the Art Deco period, offer a rare and sought after combination of outstanding build quality, luxurious specifications and historic detailing and features.
Stacey Mole, Lettings Manager at Bannisters, thinks it is clear why the development has been so popular. She comments: “The setting of The Garden Quarter is completely different to anything else in the local area and the specification of the properties has made them really attractive to buy-to-let landlords. The homes appeal to professional couples, commuters and also individuals wanting a peaceful and tranquil setting close to amenities and the direct train line into London. Bicester Village draws lots of tenants to the local area and two bedroom properties are the most sought after.”
Christopher Robson, a local to the Bicester area, recognised the investment potential of the development. He comments: “Bicester is a growing, affluent town. My property is within commutable distance to London, Birmingham and Oxford and I felt that buying here would provide a better quality property and therefore a reliable tenant. I also have the added comfort of a long term investment.”
Also aware that Bicester is a popular location for commuters to both London and Oxford, Liane MacKenzie was certain that The Garden Quarter would be an attractive location for future tenants. She says: “The excellent transport links by road and rail from the development make for easy commuting. Oxford is easily reached, whilst there is a direct train service from Bicester station to London Marylebone which takes less than an hour. I’d definitely recommend The Garden Quarter; I genuinely think that most of my friends would now make a similar investment or live here themselves.”
Following recent Government announcements regarding stamp duty reform on second home ownership, Bannisters has already noticed a shift in market attitudes. Stacey continues: “Our landlords who have been thinking of adding to their portfolio are now looking to do so before the changes come into force and we are advising first time property investors to do so too.”
Suzanne Aplin, Sales & Marketing Director at developer City & Country, believes The Garden Quarter’s popularity with investors is down to the excellent craftsmanship of the homes as well as the excellent transport links. She notes: “The Garden Quarter properties were built with first time buyers, families and other owner-occupiers in mind. But clearly the development is also very attractive to tenants - the investment interest has been quite remarkable – and landlords know that they are investing in a high quality, well located home.”
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