Bristol is a hot place to be in 2016…

Posted by & filed under Estate Agents, Finance, First Time Buyer, House Hunting, Housing, Lifestyle, Mortgage, Moving Experience, Property Purchase, Property Search.

…Even if it didn’t feel that way on my journey to work today. Bristol%20Shauns_0

According to our local daily paper, The Bristol Post, this city has been decreed a hot place to buy for investors in 2016, up there with Marbella and St Ives in Cornwall apparently. But is that a good thing?

The story originated in this blog from Fine & Country:

Bristol regularly pops up in the top places to live in the national papers. It’s where all of our team live, and where we have a head office just a stone’s throw from the docks and Brunel’s SS Great Britain, and we think that the city is fabulous, but we’ve been wondering if all the praise and profile is always a good thing for Bristol and any other area that becomes a chosen one? Coincidentally stats show that St Ives held market value throughout the recession, as did a couple of Bristol areas.

House prices in some Bristol postcodes are now some of the highest outside London, and whilst there are some bargains, plus shared equity/help to buy assistance, many people feel that they are being priced out of the market whilst rents continue to climb. As a first time buyer or someone on a low income this can be an issue, but for investors this is a benefit. On a day to day basis we work with both, and are therefore acutely aware of the issues.

It’s that old favourite, supply and demand. House building hasn’t yet returned, to pre-recession numbers, and our population is growing. Whether or not you can attain your own little slice of Bristol will be determined by a number of things, but a couple of quick tips worth remembering are:

  • A lender will assess a mortgage application according to its own individual criteria, so don’t assume that because one lender can’t offer what you want, or declines to lend to you at all, that they all will.
  • Try being a little bit flexible about what and where you buy. A few minutes spent on Zoopla, Rightmove, or other property sites can reveal some very similar houses, with significantly different price tags.

Based on my own observations, during many years working with Bristol properties, I can tell you that trends will come and go, and sometimes being able to see potential in an area not yet considered the ‘chic’ place to call home, may save you tens of thousands as a buyer, or provide a great nest egg for an investor.