How to look for accommodation in Oxford – an insider’s guide

Jun 29, 2022

Oxford is a beautiful city with rich cultural and historical heritage. It attracts lots of expats, digital nomads, and obviously Harry Potter fans. It offers excellent schools and ample job opportunities. Plus it’s under an hour by train from London. Being a very attractive location, it is admittedly also quite an expensive city to live in, coming second after London in the UK. So your move might turn out quite tricky. Here are some tips on how to look for accommodation in Oxford when moving there for the first time.

Consider the costs

Whether you’re moving from within the UK or from another country, there are many other factors to consider rather than just the living costs and cultural offerings.

You need to know where to leave your possessions while looking for a new home. The answer, you could leave it in self-storage.

Other things include rent, parking permit costs, council taxes, and services you’d like to use on site, such as gym or laundrette, as well  as costs of local cafes and entertainment.

While looking for accommodation in Oxford, make sure to check out shipping costs offered by several shipping companies to ensure that you save money while making the move. Also, don’t forget to check out the Oxford City Council website to learn more about their programs and services.

If you are moving because of a job, it is also best to check out whatever relocation package, or even international moving packages your company is offering. Use this information to fully understand just how much moving costs in your situation.

This is how rents in Oxford compare with other cities around the globe.

London is 43.90% more expensive
New York is 107.78% more expensive
Los Angeles is 38.33% more expensive
Toronto is 17.04% cheaper
Sydney is 37.21% more expensive
Paris is 10.71% cheaper
Dubai is 51.89% more expensive

Source: Numbeo

And here’s how rental property prices are shaped in Oxford according to Zoopla


Image licenced from Canva

Check out the neighbourhoods

First off, there are a variety of neighbourhoods in Oxford, each with their own positive and negative points. You might want to prioritise some over others depending on your needs. East Oxford is a diverse neighbourhood that also offers beautiful parks. Jericho is one of the most fashionable districts in the city. Summertown has a strongly independent community feel that can really appeal to families. Cowley Road is a bit more ethnically diverse and has a large academic community, both of which join together in a yearly carnival that happens in this neighbourhood. Headington is a more serious business area, with many companies in the research, education and medicine industries. A suburb north of Oxford’s city center, Cutteslowe is a residential are a that is popular for its quiet streets and kid-friendly amenities. Botley is a small village just outside the boundaries of Oxford city featuring the local gem – The Tap Social. You might also opt for attractive towns around Oxford such as Witney, Woodstock, or Bicester.

Start online

It is absolutely best to start your search for accommodation in Oxford online, especially if you are currently very far away from the city. Looking online will allow you to find out more information about the prices, so that you can work out your budget. You can also find out where the cheaper accommodation is in contrast to that with higher prices.

If you arrive in Oxford more spontaneously or want to take a look at your apartment before moving in, getting accommodation on Airbnb short-term is a solution while you actually visit your preferred properties. There are also many agencies and websites that can help you find accommodation in Oxford, although in that case you need to be prepared to pay rather high fees.

Cut costs with shared living

The best way to save on housing costs in Oxford is to share a flat or house. Oxford has a large selection of apartments and houses which have either been converted into flats or are shared houses. With a house share you will have your own room, or, for a cheaper option, you can share a room. The bathroom/s will be shared with other people in the house. There are many flats available for shared rental as well. Have a look on Oxford’s Gumtree page or SpareRoom or Easy Room Mate to find someone you can get on with to share the costs with you.

Image licenced from Canva

Go for a coliving adventure

If you would rather avoid that hassle, and enjoy a great lifestyle while marrying convenience with affordability, coliving should be the right choice for you. The quality of this type of accommodation is elevated in comparison to traditional shared living arrangements while allowing for considerable savings. For one simple monthly bill, you can enjoy spaces specifically designed to bring people together and foster true connections and a safe, vetted community of like-minded people from around the world. You’ll find coliving properties anywhere you like at

Image: B-Hive Living

B-Hive Living properties additionally provide interior design focused on holistic wellbeing, and a programme of activities to connect you to the place and your new community and inspire a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle. It offers a perfect landing ground for a newcomer in the city. It makes life simpler from get go with on-site facilities such as on-side laundry, parking and bicycle storage, and home fitness equipment. Short- and long-term leases offer a solution to everyone. Best of all, you can apply to stay in one of the properties in Oxford or nearby Bicester from any place in the world, and visit the property of your choice and talk to our community manager before taking the decision. More than 80% of B-Hive Living residents are expats, and virtual viewings are offered so that you can secure a place before even landing in the country. 

To make the decision easier, visit b-hive’s website for a thorough description of the service. Either way check out the blog section with lots of info that will be useful on arrival to Oxford and interviews with current residents to give you an idea of the existing community feel (“Meet Your Hivemate” series).

Image: B-Hive Living

Living in Oxford can be an adventure of a lifetime, whether you’re staying for a while or long-term. What really matters is how you feel at home and who you live with. The incredible lifestyle in Oxford can be just a click away.

B-Hive Living

B-Hive Living is a wellness-focused coliving brand operating properties in Oxford and Bicester, UK, and now expanding internationally. We drive social change by exploring and promoting the concept of living well. We place it at the heart of our coliving design for a more connected, healthy and fulfilling lifestyle for our residents.