A Look At Bristol’s Economy, Employment & Property Trends

Fox Davidson has offices in Bristol and London. The latest Bristol economic briefing from Bristol City Council makes interesting reading. We look at the major points of interest and also look at how Fox Davidson is helping the Bristol economy through employment as well as securing finance for businesses and for private individuals.


The UK economy is growing at its fastest rate for 3 years with the recorded rate of growth at 0.8% for the 3rd quarter of 2013, the office of Budget responsibility (OBR) has revised its 2013 growth forecast up to 1.4% from 0.6%. Interestingly even at this rate of growth the UK economy will not achieve its pre-recession level for another 12 months!


In Bristol the Job seekers allowance claimant count fell for the ninth consecutive month with the total claimants in October falling to below 10,000 for the first time for over 4 years. In June 2013 Bristol’s employment rate was 70.7% which was higher than other major cities such as Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham. The overall England employment figure stood at 71.3%. Fox Davidson will look to help those employment figures further with plans to add another 2 – 3 members to the team in the next few months. This is only possible due to good marketing, management and of course a growing economy.

Business & Development

Vacancy rates among retail units fell for the 6th consecutive quarter and as of October the vacancy rate was 7.5%. According to Bristol office agents the level of take up in Bristol’s city centre office market for the third quarter of 2013 was up 22% on 2012 and a massive 97% on 2011. Fox Davidson is situated in the Bristol enterprise Zone and earlier this month (Dec 3rd) planning secretary Nick Boles visited the Zone to welcome the start of the £35m development ‘2 Glass Wharf’ which is the first speculative development in Bristol for several years. Fox Davidson has access to business finance from the whole of the market that will allow growing companies to buy their own office/business premises. We look forward to helping more local businesses secure their new premises in 2014.


The Whapping Wharf redevelopment got under way in early October. The first phase will include 194 apartments and 9,310 sq. ft. of retail and leisure space plus a pedestrian pathway linking south Bristol and the Harbourside.

Our purchase clients continue to report a difficult market with each property being chased by several buyers and offers being accepted above the asking prices, it is clearly a sellers’ market at present.

The land registry data shows the average house price in the City of Bristol was £187,716 in December 2007 falling to a low of £163,835 in January 2012 with the current average value this month at £175,133 and increasing…

The government has announced plans to stop the funding for lending scheme. This scheme has provided cheaper finance for banks to lend out. Having spoken with many of our lenders over the last few weeks none of them expect this to have an impact on the rates they are currently offering and so it is hard to see that this measure will slow down the buoyant housing market. With the clear lack of property available to buy it is clear that only a sustained increase in the build of new property including the redevelopment of old commercial units into apartments in the City will help ease the housing shortage and the continued increase in Bristol property prices.

Fox Davidson

As independent expert mortgage brokers Fox Davidson arrange finance for clients in Bristol looking to buy a property as a main residence or as an investment. We also help finance business start-ups, expansions and can secure invoice finance to help with cash flow. The rates of interest have never been so competitive and with property prices increasing and the economy growing many of our clients are looking to invest in Bristol property.

To speak to us about this blog or for advice on residential or commercial finance please do call us on 01173 736200 or email us enquiry@foxdavidson.co.uk

‘Commercial Finance and Invoice Finance is unregulated by the FCA’.