What is happening in the Bristol residential property market …

A question I’m frequently, and understandably, being asked is what patterns of activity I’m witnessing in the Bristol property market at the moment.

To firstly give some context, it is interesting to compare activity and sentiment to this time last year. 2023 was characterised by high interest rates (relative to recent years where they were at historically low levels). The year was overshadowed by the possibility that they could increase further, which led many prospective purchasers, and as a result, potential vendors, to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach with regards to potential price falls. In the final quarter of 2023 however interest rates stabilised, mortgage rates decreased with headline rates for 5-year fixed rate mortgages falling below 4% and sentiment subsequently improved. Despite the uncertainty and turbulence of last year, Bristol faired well with data released from PropCast showing that for the 12th consecutive month in December 2023, Bristol was the ‘hottest’ market – as dened by the ratio of for sale properties under offer at 61%, signicantly above the UK average of 40%.

2024 so far..

The residential property market appears to have commenced more positively in 2024 as buyers have taken confidence from falling levels of inflation and strong competition in the mortgage markets.

The Fine & Country Clifton office recorded a 112% increase in new buyer enquiries in January 2024, compared to the same period last year. Agents report a significant increase in valuations in new instructions forecast, particularly as we approach the Spring market.

At the upper level of the market (properties with asking prices in excess of £2.5M), a high proportion are being discretely marketed and either transacting entirely ‘off market’ with others being quietly marketed for an initial period before being openly marketed as we approach the Spring / Summer markets. 

In some instances, I am being approached by Vendors, enquiring as to whether I have proceedable purchasers, before considering whether to market through an Estate Agency.

Generally properties that are coming to the open market are being priced realistically, with purchasers being price sensitive and cautious of paying in excess of Market Value.

Where is demand coming from …

The typical purchaser demographic and requirement is varied. Downsizers are particularly abundant, together with young families looking to upsize and move within or to the surrounding areas of Bristol, in addition to those moving to Bristol from London, other regions of the UK and internationally. Demand for investment properties ranging from 1 bed flats to large HMO’s, has also remained strong.

A complex market …

Bristol is almost a mini London in terms of various different areas – the market is splintered with different price points and stock types. Where you choose to invest will be dependent on your unique set of circumstances and investment objectives. If you would like an initial discovery call and to discuss your property search for Bristol and the surrounding areas, then please do not hesitate to contact me for an initial conversation.

For more information about buying a home or an investment in Bristol, contact Charlotte Strang on charlotte@strangandco.com.

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