Exeter College has failed to sell off nine student houses on the Iffley road after they have been on the market for nearly a year.The houses, valued at around £6.5million, have been up for sale since August 2012 yet have failed to attract a buyer. The plots comprise 76 student bedrooms but are being marketed as suitable for Ê»total redevelopmentÊ¼.It is unclear why the college intends to sell the properties in the middle of its much-publicised lack of student housing and ensuing controversy over new accommodation overlooking Worcester college.“The sale has been known around College for ages,” commented Exeter JCR President, Edward Nickell. He went on to say that students will be living in six of the nine houses next year, with the other three, comprising 24 rooms in total, being sold.“Exeter are selling rooms to buy rooms – the 24 rooms being sold on the Iffley road will help to finance the 90 rooms planned in Central Oxford. This has meant that the net gain of rooms isnÊ¼t as high as students would want, but the rooms will be much closer to the city centre,” he continued.“The housing shortage is my priority, but College is also pleased weÊ¼ll have fewer dank and subterranean teaching rooms than Exonians currently put up with,” he added.Christopher Aquilina, spokesman for surveyor AOS Studley Spring4, which is marketing the site, said when the houses went on sale that “OxfordÊ¼s residential market has bucked the trend for the rest of the country by promoting the fundamentals of the city, such as having the best university in the world, so the college see it as a good time to explore their options.”“We havenÊ¼t had any firm offers yet but we have had loads of interest, from a lot of private investors and developers.”, he added.The houses fall within the St ClementÊ¼s and Iffley Road conservation area which limits the development potential of the properties.
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