Bristol Property Investment Guide

The best place to live in Britain where housing is in huge demand

The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live in Britain accolade was awarded to Bristol in March 2015, thanks to its great shopping, great scenery and great social scene. Prior to this in October 2013, it was named the most liveable city in the UK, according to an analysis of economic and lifestyle factors.

Bristol is situated on the River Avon in the south-west region of the UK. Nestling between the Severn Estuary and the Mendip Hills, it is an area very rich in history and is climatically one of the warmest cities in the UK.

With the close proximity of the M4 Motorway linking the city with both Wales and London and the M5 offering links with both Exeter and Birmingham, Bristol is an easy area to reach.

The population of Bristol currently stands at around 432,500. Rising at a rate of around 4% above the national average it’s expected to reach half a million by 2025. Bristol has the seventh-highest population density of any English district, with around 3,600 inhabitants per square kilometre.

House prices are predicted to boom in Bristol in the near future, with property experts estimating rises of up to 24% over the next five years.

Avonmouth was the district with the biggest increase in transactions last year, as sales jumped 94.5% in 2014, according to analysis from property agents Hamptons International. The number of sales soared over the year and house prices grew 21.1%, double the rate of the national average. The surge in transaction levels was partly driven by a growing demand to live in Bristol, one of the UK’s leading tech scenes and a relatively large number of new-build developments.

The region is rapidly growing in a range of sectors. Figures released in August 2014, show that unemployment in the Bristol area is less than half the national average. With neighbouring areas also having excellent employment figures, this means the south-west region has the highest number of people in work, outside London and the south-east. These high employment figures mean housing is in ever greater demand.

Unbeatable city living in the European Green Capital

The European Commission has named Bristol European Green Capital of 2015. This prestigious award was originally conceived to encourage cities into committing to develop and improve their green spaces and environmental well-being and to reduce their carbon footprints.

Currently nearing completion in Shirehampton, to the north-west of the region is a very unusual housing project; a group of seven “straw’ houses. The developer promises its residents reduced energy bills of up to 90% cheaper than a traditional brick-built house. It is hoped that other projects may take their lead from this one and that it will encourage other developers to follow suit.

From bars on boats to art galleries in former toilets, there is a thriving independent spirit in the city that gave the world both Banksy and Wallace & Gromit and even invented Ribena

Bristol is popular to live in because it offers such a variety for its residents. Gloucester Road is said to have more independent shops than any other street in the UK. Thousands of people get around the UK’s first cycling city on two wheels and the first part of the National Cycle Network was built here. Bristol offers innovation alongside the green living, more people are drawn to the eco-friendly environments being created, for a better quality of life.

With great employment, all around the area, 3,000 people are employed by 45 different organisations at nearby Bristol Airport, one of the largest single-site employers in the region. The economy and employment are on the up.

That means Bristol property investment is ideal for you if you're looking to invest in a major city.

Economy & Employment

Bristol is the largest city in the south-west with above average employment levels.

As well as the thriving port, Bristol is also home to the aerospace industry with BAE Systems, Airbus and Rolls Royce and Cameron Balloons.  Defence, media, information technology, financial services and tourism also play a key part in the prosperity of the region.

Around 59,000 people are employed in the financial services sector locally.

7-8,000 are employed by the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support facility at Abbey Wood.

Around 50 micro-electronics and design businesses employ a further 5,000. Technology is important in the region, which contributes a GVA of around £12bn to the UK economy.

The south-west has one of the largest proportions of working age people in employment.

Main employment sources are hotels, restaurants and distribution, education, health and public administration.

Finance, banking & insurance related industries and manufacturing also play significant roles.

Employment is largely concentrated in the public sector and is service based.

Investment

With expansion at Bristol Airport and Government funding for urban redevelopment, Bristol’s regeneration is vast.

The £2-billion electrification of the railway line from Bristol Temple Meads to London completes in 2017 and will take 20 minutes off journey time.

Bristol Enterprise Zone received £6m Government funding to encourage further urban redevelopment and to create new businesses. This took the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone’s total funding up to £17m.

There are plans for a £120m overhaul of the airport’s facilities. These improvements in the infrastructure will include additional aircraft parking, car parking and an on-site hotel. Together with a transport interchange and extensions to the terminal building, passenger capacity should increase to around 10 million by 2020.

More transformation of the area is set to include the planned construction of the 12,000 capacity Bristol Arena and the recently started building of a bridge over the River Avon. This will give the city its first world-class entertainment venue.

Part of the city’s regeneration includes a substantial increase in residential construction. Nearing completion already is the St. Francis Road development in Southville, to the south of Bristol. Others, such as Lyde Green, to the northeast, and two developments in Filton to the north, are getting started, with others at the planning stages.

Transport

The £2-billion electrification of the railway line from Bristol Temple Meads to London completes in 2017 and will take 20 minutes off journey time.

Bristol Enterprise Zone received £6m Government funding to encourage further urban redevelopment and to create new businesses. This took the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone’s total funding up to £17m.

There are plans for a £120m overhaul of the airport’s facilities. These improvements in the infrastructure will include additional aircraft parking, car parking and an on-site hotel. Together with a transport interchange and extensions to the terminal building, passenger capacity should increase to around 10 million by 2020.

More transformation of the area is set to include the planned construction of the 12,000 capacity Bristol Arena and the recently started building of a bridge over the River Avon. This will give the city its first world-class entertainment venue.

Part of the city’s regeneration includes a substantial increase in residential construction. Nearing completion already is the St. Francis Road development in Southville, to the south of Bristol. Others, such as Lyde Green, to the northeast, and two developments in Filton to the north, are getting started, with others at the planning stages.

Air: Bristol Airport is located south-west of the city, and is under eight miles by road from the city centre. Regular bus services run between the two. The airport handles national and international flights to over 100 destinations in 35 countries.

Rail: First Great Western trains serve the Bristol Temple Meads station near the city centre and Bristol Parkway to the north of the city. Services operate between Bristol and Swansea, Cardiff, London’s Paddington, Waterloo and Clapham Junction stations. Many of the journeys are by high-speed service, meaning that it is possible to be in central London in a little over two hours.

Road: Bristol is an easy place to access, is situated on the main east/west M4 Motorway between London and west Wales, as well as the M5 which links Birmingham and Exeter. Additionally, the area benefits from the M49 linking the M5 with the M4 and the Severn Crossing, and the M32 motorway spur into the city centre.

Bus: There are park-and-ride sites at Bristol Portway, A4 Bath Road and Stoke Gifford, enabling easy access to the city centre. A large network of bus services operates to and from the city by Wessex, First Group Travel West.

Education

Bristol has 129 primary schools, 17 secondary schools, 4 further education colleges and 16 independent schools.

Bristol has the second highest concentration of independent schools in the country. Secondary schools around Bristol were named among the best in the country in 2014, with 10 in the Bristol region making it into the UK Top 500 performing schools.

Notable Institutions include: Red Maid’s School, founded in 1634 by John Whitson, is said to be the oldest girls’ school in England. An independent preparatory school, it is set in a 12 acres campus and caters for girls aged from 7-18 years, it is one of the top 100 independent schools for GCSE, A Levels and 1B Diploma results.

The Castle School in Thornbury, Bristol Cathedral Choir School and Winterbourne International Academy were all noted for their performance figures in the 2014 league tables.

Higher Education: The University of Bristol, chartered in 1909 has David Walliams and Derren Brown among its alumni. The UWE or the University of the West of England (formerly Bristol Polytechnic) is currently undergoing a £50-million project to build a new building to house the Bristol Law School and the Bristol Business School.

Shops & Leisure

Shopping & Dining: There are five easy access shopping centres housing a wide selection of brand names, as well as many independent boutiques and artisan stores. Bristol is famous for its music and culture and there is a vibrant food scene to match.

Bristol has an active calendar of events throughout the year but is particularly known for Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Europe’s biggest hot air balloon event. It is also becoming the food festival capital of the UK from the city-wide Bristol Food Connections to Eat Drink Bristol Fashion and the Grape and Grain festival.

Sport & Culture: Bristol has 6 swimming pools, 7 golf courses, 7 gym and fitness centres, 2 climbing centres and numerous outdoor pursuits. Bristol is also part of the Sustrans Cycle network. There is a great choice for theatre lovers with 9 venues hosting a wide variety of productions.

Green Spaces: The people of Bristol have access to hundreds of parks and green spaces. Right in the heart of the city lies Queen Square, a superb Georgian Park surrounded by trees and cobbled streets. Other central spaces include Castle Park, Cabot Tower, Brandon Hill, and the Ashton Court Estate, a historic park covering 850 acres of grasslands and woods.

That means Bristol property investment is perfect for you if you're looking for a regeneration area for your portfolio

 

 

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