Ahead of the weekend’s Boat Races, the FT has examined how the two cities compare if you are looking to buy a house. On the face of it, there is little to choose between the two cities. The average house price in Oxford is £423,000 versus £421,000 in Cambridge, but Cambridge has seen the most impressive growth figures in recent years with values up 29% since the financial crises, 8% ahead of the rate of growth in Oxford.

And the key factor behind the difference?  Oxford has traditionally has a more diverse economy with the Cowley Car Plant employing large numbers over the years.  This is now in decline.  By contrast Cambridge is now a vibrant hub for hi tech and biotech companies.  Start ups are following the lead from giants like Arm Holdings. Microsoft Research now has a lab in the city, while multinationals are settling in the area, including AstraZeneca, which has its head office at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

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