Soaring house prices in Chipping Norton are down to its many attractions – but the so called ‘Chipping Norton set’ is not one of them says one of its residents.
According to the Telegraph, house prices in the town rose by 16 per cent in 2014 and it claims the typical price of a detached home is £602,000.
The rise has been attributed to the presence of a number of celebrities and notable figures including Prime Minister David Cameron, former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks and Blur-member-turned-cheesemaker Alex James.
But mayor of Chipping Norton, Michael Tysoe, said the attraction of the town was down to other factors and not the fame of some of its residents and neighbours.
He said: “The Chipping Norton set has very little to do with Chipping Norton.
“Chipping Norton as a whole is a nice working Cotswolds town.
“We have excellent pubs, restaurants and a theatre.
“We have excellent schools but we do have a shortage of housing at the moment, although there are quite a lot of houses in the pipeline.”
He added: “Yes, some of the youngsters are being forced out. However, I know of several youngsters who are buying homes in the town and who have worked their socks off and have perhaps had some help from mum and dad.”
But Councillor Tysoe said there was a shortage of two-bedroom homes in the area and it was not an issue that would be resolved overnight.
The average house price in the town has risen from £340,000 in March 2013 to £395,000 in March 2014.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the increase in house prices has dwarfed the average growth rate of 8.1 per cent for the whole of the UK.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Giles Lawton, a director at Savills said: “Back in the 1980s, Chipping Norton was seen as the back of beyond with the elite buying in Woodstock or Oxford. The publicity over the last five years has really put it on the map.”
l The Chipping Norton Literary Festival kicks off today, Thursday, and runs until Sunday, April 26.
Big names at the festival include writer and comedian David Baddiel, Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, actress Sheila Hancock, scriptwriter Jesse Armstrong and comedy actor and writer Helen Lederer.
For more information on the festival, visit www.chiplitfest.com