New homes snapshot – what’s happening in Bristol?
Posted 15 October 2015 by Keith Osborne
Each week we visit a different part of the country to discover what is happening in the local new homes market. Today, we visit Bristol.
Bristol, a buzzing university city in the southwest of England, is home to a population of almost 450,000, and a buoyant housing market, underpinned by strong demand and solid activity in both the sales and rental market, fuelled in part by high demand from students, their parents and buy-to-let investors.
Demand for property is also being driven higher by an influx of Londoners moving from the capital to Bristol because of the significant gap in living costs.
“London’s price to earnings ratio is at an all-time high, while there remains value in most other regional cities,” said Richard Donnell of property analysts Hometrack. According to Hometrack’s figures, the average price of a home in the capital is £437,000, but in Bristol the average is £231,300.
What’s more, Bristol is rated in the top 10 UK cities to raise a family thanks to good schools and safe communities; an attractive proposition for young families.
But while activity continues to pick up, fewer properties in Bristol are coming onto the market, as illustrated by the latest data from the Land Registry. The figures show that in April 2014, 883 properties sold in Bristol but in April 2015, that figure dropped to 584.
“The average number of properties changing hands has dropped substantially over the last 12 months,” says Atif Javid, managing director, Howce estate agents. “With less houses coming onto the market there simply isn’t as much choice of properties to buy in Bristol.”
With the supply-demand imbalance growing, home prices are widely expected to rise over the coming months, which is bad news for some would-be buyers.
While property prices may be cheaper than London, living in Bristol is still expensive for many people, owed partly to the fact that home prices in the city are now 16% above their 2007 peak. With not enough homes to meet demand, homes in Bristol already cost over nine times the average salary, pricing out thousands of local people aspiring to get on the housing ladder. But developers are working hard to build more homes to help meet growing demand.
New homes in Bristol
Acorn Bristol is set for ambitious expansion plans with plans to build a number of new residential developments in and around Bristol.
“We have established an excellent team and have secured a number of key development sites which will create valuable new jobs for the region and provide stunning new homes,” says Robin Squire of Acorn Bristol.
Elsewhere, five new houses are being built in the affluent suburb of Redland by Brownfield Green, while Redrow Homes, together with Wales and West Utilities and National Grid Twenty Seven Ltd will deliver 110 new homes, including 17 affordable properties, in the Bedminster area of Bristol.
Meanwhile, a selection of 85 luxury one- and two-bedroom apartments at the recently restored Electricity House in Bristol city centre have just been released onto the market, with prices ranging from £230,000 to £540,000.
“Bristol desperately needs new homes to meet demand and it is great to see buildings coming back into use,” remarks Simon Nunn of the National Housing Federation. “We need more homes of all types, with 4,636 too few homes having been built in Bristol over the last four years.”
Find out more about new homes for sale in Bristol.