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The Waitrose effect – could Botley Road be the next to benefit?
October 15, 2014Article by Charlotte Ashton
Oxford has the ability to charm on any number of levels. From its dreaming spires to its rich cultural history, the city is one of England’s premier destinations both for visitors and as a place to make your home.
Home is where the heart is
Ray Withers, Chief Executive of leading property investment specialists Property Frontiers, did just that. He explains,
“Oxford has something about it that gets under your skin – in a good way. You can almost feel the history oozing out of the stonework as you walk around the city, yet somehow it manages to tastefully blend ancient buildings and its rich academic heritage with the most modern of recreational and leisure facilities.”
This is certainly true when it comes to shopping and eating. The Westgate and Clarendon shopping centres, along with a host of independent retailers, are enough to satisfy even the most demanding of shopaholics, while dining options range from tiny, trendy cafés in which to sit and sip a latte while reading something frightfully clever, to extremely popular fine dining establishments.
The Waitrose effect
Now, plans are in place to enhance Oxford’s shopping and eating experiences in one fell swoop, with a new Waitrose store planned for the Botley Road area. The upmarket grocery store is known for boosting accommodation prices when it arrives in a new area. Research by Savills has shown that having a Waitrose in the vicinity has a positive impact on property prices – indeed, in London the difference between Waitrosed areas and non-Waitrosed areas is as much as 50%.
Ray Withers considers the planned new Botley Road store’s potential impact on the area,
“A new Waitrose store at Botley Road would give this already fantastic area even more of a boost and is sure to help drive up property prices.”
For Property Frontiers’ investors, the news is very well timed, as the company is just in the process of launching a stunning new development located only one minute away from the site of the proposed new store. The high end buy-to-let apartments will offer investors both the potential for capital growth and strong yields. As plans for the new Waitrose develop, it’s anticipated that the capital growth may be even better than expected when Property Frontiers first looked at the site. Withers concludes,
“It remains to be seen whether or not the Botley Road Waitrose comes to fruition, but if it does then our new luxury apartments could not be in a better location. We’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on progress as the public consultation over the new store progresses.”