Last month saw the completion of Cambridge’s most expensive house sale, confirming an upward trend for top-end properties that has been evident for the past six to nine months.

While the £3.5 miliion sale in Chaucer Road represents a pretty rarified sector of the Cambridge market, houses over £1 million are increasingly common and sellers are finding that there are lots of cash buyers willing and able to bid over and above the asking prices.

In recent months there has been intense competition for £1m+ houses in prime locations throughout the City. The ferocity of the bidding on many of these houses has meant ‘best and final offers’ has become the common method for concluding negotiations, delighting the one successful buyer but disappointing the many underbidders.

In April, the Cambridge News reported on the state of the Cambridge property market, with market analysts questioning whether the house price bubble was set to burst. A two bedroomed house on Kingston Street, marketed at £450,000 was highlighted as “symptomatic of a Cambridge delusion”. This house has just exchanged contracts in excess of the asking price, after lots of viewings and multiple offers.

Have buyers in Cambridge been collectively “Drinking the Kool-Aid”? Deriving from the November 1978 Jonestown Massacre, when members of the Peoples Temple, followers of the Reverend Jim Jones, committed suicide by drinking a Kool-Aid-like drink laced with cyanide, this typically negative metaphor from the US refers to a person or group holding an unquestioned belief without critical examination.

Alternatively, maybe Cambridge really can justify the increasing demand (and hence house price rises) given its status as a major knowledge centre close to London with significant hi-tech/biotech growth and major new employers such as AstraZeneca choosing to locate this beautiful historic city?

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