The resilience and diversity of Bristol is a key strength that reinforces the city’s desirability not just as a place to live and work, but as a hotspot for investment and development. Speaking at our seminar Evolving Cities: The Changing Face of Bristol, a review of the commercial property market in Bristol, Gordon Isgrove, GVA, called for a more focused push to obtain central government funding for the city to achieve its full potential.
“2017 was an unpredictable but good year for the property market, and whilst political disruption will no doubt continue into 2018, Bristol is riding the wave. Forecasts predict that the city will outperform both the South West and the UK over the next five years in terms of economic growth,” said Gordon.
“Our challenge is to avoid restraining growth by providing a platform for the city to continue to thrive, with development that offers the work space that occupiers demand, the homes the city needs, and the transport infrastructure that allows us to join everything together.”
Continuing, “Within the Bristol property market we have seen another excellent year in the offices market with take-up above the five-year average, and a new record headline rent set at £32.50 per sq ft. The industrial market is hitting headlines, with 2.9million sq ft of floor space transacted during the year in Greater Bristol.
“This excellent transactional activity means that investors and institutions are viewing the city in a positive light, with 2017 recording the highest levels of investment activity in a decade and with a considerable weight of money looking to be invested this year. The wider south west market saw £2.13 billion of investment transactions in 2017, compared to £1.95 billion in 2016, a rise of almost 30%.”
GVA’s Bristol property market update explained that Bristol and the wider catchment area continue to deliver strong economic growth, with the city one of the most popular locations for migration from London. It’s not surprising therefore that Bristol is one of the top cities consistently quoted in surveys and continues to make a positive contribution to the Treasury.
Bristol University’s proposals for a new campus at Temple Quarter is likely to be the catalyst for significant change in this part of the city, a once in a generation opportunity for the creation of a new city quarter and significant growth.
Stressing the importance of transport infrastructure, Gordon continued, “The appointment of Metro Mayor Tim Bowles provides an opportunity for our region to act more strategically in respect of infrastructure and to secure central funding.
“Transport infrastructure requires a long-term vision and delivery plan. MetroBus needs to begin operating, now that most of the infrastructure is in place, and Temple Meads needs to improve capacity.”