Cambridge outpaces Oxford in commercial property investment – by more than 50 per cent

Excluding hotels, Cambridge has outpaced Oxford by 50 per cent in attracting investment across every sector of commercial property.

Data analysed from 2017 to date highlights that total investment in Cambridge was more than £815m versus Oxford’s £536m.

Datscha, the proptech platform which shows ultimate ownership of commercial properties, revealed the data in their transactions module which indicates deals worth more than £3m each – those deemed of economic significance to the market. Datscha has further been able to corroborate its research by uncovering portfolio deals matched with latest Land Registry data – using the period from January 2017 to July 2019.

Office market props up Cambridge investment

The research reveals that Cambridge surpasses Oxford in most asset classes of commercial property (including industrial, retail, specialist property) with the office market taking the largest investment volume – accounting for more than £300m worth of investment during this time. Oxford, however, outpaces its rival city in the hotel sector with £282minvestment over this period, more than twice as much than in Cambridge. Some retail properties are still very much in demand in Cambridge with around 17% of total investment volumes in the city. This includes the sale of a Sainsbury’s supermarket for more than £45m and the Next store (with 9 years left on the lease) on St Andrews Street for almost £22m.

University investment challenge: Cambridge leads

Datscha further analysed investment by both cities’ respective universities back into local commercial property, which revealed Cambridge University spent £53m versus Oxford’s £22m.

Lesley Males, Datscha’s Head of Research, commented: “It’s no secret the success of Cambridge’s science parks and tech industries have buoyed up total investment thanks to the office sector, yet the city has still punched above its weight in almost all areas of commercial property, over Oxford. Recent infrastructure upgrades make commuting to London and surrounding towns more appealing.

Males further commented:

Another dynamic of Cambridge’s healthy commercial property demand has been UK domestic investment, accounting for three quarters of investors versus Oxford’s 50 per local interest.