Bristol Property Market Growth Defies Expectations

Bristol is one of just a handful of locations in the UK to have defied the property market slump and seen house prices rise significantly faster than the national average.

Research carried out by Nationwide building society shows that property values in the city went up 4 per cent in the final three months of 2011, compared to the same period the previous year. This may be a small increase compared to years before the bubble burst; however it puts Bristol among the top performing provincial cities in the entire country. The average price of a property in Bristol currently stands at £224,982.

The top three areas were Bradford, Cambridge and Bath, where prices went up 10, 7 and 5 per cent respectively. London is treated as a separate market by Nationwide and so was not included in the survey. Nationally house prices rose just over 1 per cent in 2011.

Over the past ten years Bristol’s house prices have risen by 87 per cent, considerably outshining neighbouring areas and making the city one of the nation’s hotspots. Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, pointed out that supply and demand were both weak but well matched: “Although high rates of unemployment, falling real wages and the uncertain economic outlook kept many potential homebuyers on the sidelines; the supply side of the market was similarly squeezed thanks to low interest rates and a lack of building activity.”

“2012 isn’t shaping up to be much better than the previous year, for the economy or the housing market” According to Mr Gardner.

“The outlook is highly uncertain and depends on many other factors, as things stand the housing market looks likely to remain sluggish with only modest price changes in 2012.”

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