8 Reasons to Invest in Property in Bristol and Where to Buy
Welcome to Bristol, a thriving economic powerhouse and one of the UK’s most desirable living destinations.
While property prices are steep, those who can afford it can expect to capitalise on the highest demand for rental property in the country as well as steady demand from the city’s incoming steam of students and young professionals.
House prices are expected to rise up to 20% in the coming years, so now it is a great time to get in while you can. Offering an excellent quality of life, plenty to do both near and far and a thriving business and tech scene, find out why Bristol makes a great destination for an investment property.
1. Bristol is Home to a Thriving Economy
It’s no understatement that Bristol is one of the UK’s economic powerhouse cities. As part of the Bristol-Bath economic region, the area generates £32 billion per annum and the next decade is expected to see steady and consistent economic growth of 3%.
The city’s highly-talented workforce plays a role in driving its economic success. With four world-class universities in the religion, the Bristol-Bath area has the highest proportion of well-educated citizens in the UK and the most skilled workforce of any English core city.
With access to a talented workforce of 42 million people within the 150 miles catchment area, businesses flocking to Bristol know it’s a smart idea. It’s not surprising, then, that over 80,000 jobs are expected to be created between 2016 – 2036 in Bristol and its surrounding area. The employment rate is telling too, at around 76%, it’s well above the 70% UK average.
With job opportunities and economic growth come an influx of people and an increase in demand for rental properties. Based on these factors alone, it’s not hard to see the appeal of Bristol as a property investment destination.
2. High-Net-Worth Industries are Based in Bristol
Bristol is home to a thriving professional services sector and is a global leader in technology and engineering. Recent years have seen a number of firms open offices, headquarters or announce their intention to increase their presence in the city.
Big players in the engineering and technology scene, including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Ovo Energy and Aardman animation studio have made Bristol their home, and the city is rapidly transforming and investing in its infrastructure to support the development of these high-worth industries.
On the financial and professional services side, financial firm Hargreaves Lansdown employs around 1,185 staff in Bristol, Computershare has its UK HQ in Bristol and car leasing firm ALD Automotive is headquartered at Emersons Gree.
3. A Growing Tech Hub
Bristol already has a strong heritage for creative industries such as film making and is becoming increasingly attractive to startups and entrepreneurs, too.
Bristol startups have a survival rate of 60.6% – one of the highest in the country. Part of their success is down to the steady stream of top talent coming from the area’s world-class education institutions. Thanks to the city’s work-life balance, lifestyle appeal and cultural offering, students tend to stay on in the city after graduation giving businesses access to a lot of brainpower.
Another reason for Bristol’s startup success is its supportive infrastructure. The Temple Quarter local enterprise zone, for example, is home to a cluster of tech businesses and startup incubators, including SETsquared and WebStart Bristol, alongside accelerators and access to Angel investors looking to back scaleups.
4. A Booming Housing Market
With its strong economic growth, attractive lifestyle offerings and a thriving business scene, Bristol is one of the most attractive places in the UK for property buyers. As a result of this popularity, house prices have increased at a rate not seen anywhere else in the UK.
Average asking prices in Bristol increased 60% over the past decade and homeowners in Bristol’s Easton area have experienced the UK’s biggest increase in house prices in the last 10 years – up 120%.
With a diverse selection of housing stock and Bristol’s economic and cultural development, housing prices are expected to rise a staggering 20.5% between 2021 and 2024. If you’re looking to purchase an investment property in the area, it might be better to invest sooner rather than later.
5. The Highest Demand for Rental Property in the Country
As the relatively high cost of buying a home continues to increase, so too does rental demand as people are priced out of buying a house and turn to the rental market, creating a scarcity of rental accommodation as demand outstrips supply.
This is good news for those looking to invest in a buy-to-let property. Bristol officially has the highest demand for rental property in the country. Rent prices are rising more than twice as fast as the England average, sitting at £983 a month and making Bristol among the most expensive places in the UK to rent a property.
6. Plenty of Investment and regeneration on the Horizon
Already one of the UK’s most thriving cities, Bristol City Council is investing in a number of development projects to build the necessary infrastructure to support the city’s growth. So far, £1 billion is earmarked for a range of projects.
Plans are in place to revitalise Bristol’s Western Harbour, including new riverside housing developments and infrastructure. The £450 million urban rejuvenation scheme for the former Dockland area in the city centre incorporates a wide range of attractions including museums, galleries, arts centres, shops, bars, pubs and restaurants.
The Temple Quarter is a major focus of regeneration, and residential homes and academic buildings are set to be added in the next 5 years. The University of Bristol plans to open a £300 million campus in the Temple Quarter in September 2021.
Sitting at the heart of the Temple Quarter is Temple Meads Station, part of a £5 billion project to undertake investments to upgrade the railway line. Temple Meads Station is the principal station for Bristol city centre, providing connections to London and Wales as well as to the north and south of England. The project will help cut journey times to London and increase the frequency and capacity of services by 50%.
With plenty of projects contributing to the city’s thriving development, purchasing a buy-to-let property in Bristol is likely to deliver strong returns for investors.
7. World-Class Universities and a Large Student Rental Market
One of the most educated areas in the UK, Bristol’s status as a thriving university town contributes to its appeal and economic strength.
Home to a top 10 university with 3 other universities in the surrounding area (University of the West of England Bristol, University of Bath and Bath Spa) this puts a large number of students in the catchment area.
While there are new student accommodation developments in the city centre, it’s estimated that the city will need an extra 6,400 student beds by 2028. Now is a great time for investors to act as early as possible to reap the rewards, and investing in student property in Bristol is likely to provide a steady stream of tenants.
8. An Attractive Lifestyle City
On the lifestyle and quality of life front, in 2017, Bristol was voted the best place to live in the UK and continues to offer a great food scene, community spirit and combination of lifestyle and cultural attractions.
The city’s waterfront area offers bars, shops, restaurants and the Bristol is home to a number of historic attractions, including the world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Cathedral, Clifton Observatory, as well as plenty of arts and cultural and festival events taking place throughout the year.
Further afield, Stonehenge, Bath, Salisbury, Brecon Beacons in Wales, The Cotswolds and Devon are all just a day’s trip away, making Bristol convenient for exploring the surrounding area.
Which are the Best Areas to Invest in Property in Bristol?
When looking to purchase a buy-to-let property, investors might want to consider several locations in the city.
Having undergone much regeneration, particularly around the harbourside, the city centre is becoming an attractive place to live for those that can afford it. Historic properties in the BS1 area can sell for a small fortune and an increasing amount of properties are being added to office and retail developments.
Properties in Bristol City Centre sold for an overall average price of £317,494 – the majority of these being flats.
Clifton and Redland
To the west of Bristol’s city centre, Clifton has seen a number of houses converted into flats and houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) in recent years. Along with Redland, the area is home to dedicated student accomodation and both are popular locations for investors looking to capitalise on the city’s student rental market.
Homeowners in the Easton area, one of the more affordable areas in the city, have a current average asking price of £283,397, an increase of almost £155,000 since 2010. With a 120% increase, this is one of the biggest jumps seen anywhere in the UK in the last decade.
An up-and-coming neighbourhood, the area boasts some of the best bars, restaurants, things to do as well as much of the city’s famous street art.
South of the river, this is one of Bristol’s most famous areas, known for its colourful terraced houses. Full of independent shops and vibrant street art, Southville has become one of the trendiest suburbs in south Bristol and, for better or worse, continues to undergo rapid gentrification,
Properties in Southville had an overall average price of £370,999 over the last year.
Whether considering purchasing a buy-to-let student property, a flat in the city centre or one of the larger homes Bristol has on offer, now is a great time to explore investment options. Get in touch to learn more about buying a property in Bristol.