Last year, there was an explosive start to the housing market. Brexit had passed an enormous hurdle and the property market responded quickly. But by the end of March, it was a very different story. The world was coming to terms with the worst pandemic in modern-day history and our nation was in ‘lockdown.’

Buyer activity ground to a socially distanced trickle and many estate agents, myself included, wondered if their businesses would survive. As the weeks passed, uncertainty about the housing market grew, and then from nowhere, our office in Witney was inundated with multiple property inquiries from people living in densely populated urban areas seeking a quieter, healthier life in peaceful places such as West Oxfordshire where the allure of Cotswold countryside and quintessential English market towns and villages offered the promise of that future.

In almost 30 years at Martyn Cox & Company, I can never remember the office being busier and feeling more energised. It was indeed an astonishing summer and autumn. The number of homes on Rightmove in Witney and the outlying villages flagged as “Sold Subject to Contract” at the end of September reflected this surge, with 2020 showing the highest number of SSTC properties at any point over the last 5 years


Homes on Rightmove flagged as SSTC

(Last day of September each year)


168 Homes


184 Homes


168 Homes


170 Homes


299 Homes



As you would imagine, this surge in sales pushed prices up in the Witney area by as much as 8% in some areas and for some property types.


Now things have settled down a bit. But there is still a tremendous job to do getting pipeline sales over the line before the stamp duty holiday comes to its announced end on 31st March.


But buying a property is not about a tax advantage. It is about new beginnings, about building a home for one’s self or family and it is about investing in the future. With our outstanding National Health Service personnel and medical scientists putting us well on the road to Covid recovery, we can look forward to a bright and optimistic 2021. Even the Brexit trade talks have been concluded, at least for now!


I believe that the property market in Witney and the outlying villages will remain active throughout the year with values continuing to rise. Buyers will carry on being attracted by our fantastic way of life, and opportunities will be many fold.


Please contact me personally or a member of my team if you would like to talk through your plans and aspirations. No obligation, no commitment, no pressure. We are local people and have been trading in the Witney since 1988. I would be happy to share the benefits of my experience with you, we are always here to help.


Happy 2021!


Simon Daughton

Branch Manager