Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire & Wiltshire

Each month we visit three agents across the country to discover what is happening in their local market. This month we meet members of The Guild of Property Professionals in Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire & Wiltshire.

Bristol property image
STATS: Average property price: £522,000 YTD Average rental: £1,600pcm Average time taken for property to sell: 11 days YTD


Rhodri Evans, Director

Alexander May joined the Bristol property scene in 2008 and since then has grown to a three-branch agency serving Central, North and South Bristol, as well as North Somerset and South Gloucestershire commuter villages. Our services cover sales and letting and property management together with a fully-fledged land and new homes department.

Like all agents the Stamp Duty holiday made 2021 a frenzy. For the first time we can remember there were buyers and sellers all appraising their own situations post lockdown and deciding to make some changes. This could be relationships, job, hobbies, lifestyle changes, work life rebalancing and health reasons. To some extent this demand has not been satisfied and continued into 2022. What is likely to be different in 2022 is lack of supply and we think this will be so acute it will actually slow property price rises.

Bristol boom

Bristol experienced 13 per cent average house price growth in 2021. This is way above the UK average. It is worth noting Bristol has been one of the fastest growing economies in Europe for the past few years. There has been huge investment into the city, which now benefits from large multi-national employers in the financial and technology sectors as well as a great Russell Group university. This has served to increase the steady trickle of Londoners Bristol always experienced entering the market. In 2021 this became a flood. A top investment location for landlords will be Bristol this year thanks to thriving capital appreciation and tenant demand with more than a quarter of its current population renting in the city. This makes an interesting proposition for investors too.

These factors along with the UK wide housing shortage make demand for properties to buy or rent very high, and some would say near impossible to find. Suddenly your friendly estate agent has many more ‘friends’. Statistics bear no resemblance to what is happening on the ground. Properties for sale going under offer directly from database, off market or in just a few days, rental properties being launched and then removed from market within two hours because we have already booked 30 viewings, burgeoning databases still registering over 40 people per day. Our hope for 2022 is some normality but all signs are for more of the same.

Featured property: Gatcombe, Bristol, Guide Price £1,500,000.

Somerset property image
STATS: Average price of a 3-bedroom house: £315,000 Average mortgage in the area: £128,116 Average length of time between sale agreed and key handover: 15 weeks


Andrew Simmonds, Director

We are expecting prices this year to grow at a slower rate than in 2021 due to rising interest rates, taxation and the energy crisis. But it still feels that there is pent up demand from the uncertainty during Covid lockdowns. As we come out of the pandemic, then there will be a re-evaluation of property needs.

We are seeing a migration of people from the city to the countryside and Bristol and North Somerset is attracting interest from London buyers. They are discovering it is a good place to live that is more cost-effective. With many people now working remotely or doing some form of hybrid working, regions such as the South West with good connectivity are at the forefront. I am expecting to see many vendors sell and move to rented properties with a view to onward purchasing later in 2022 or 2023.

Holiday homes

The South West region has always been popular with those wanting holiday homes but there is now a realisation that with good broadband connectivity it is possible to be based in the region permanently with family and children benefitting from the lifestyle advantages. Coastal properties have proved popular for some time, but they are now at a premium and the savvy buyers are looking at less scenic areas that still give access to the coast but are closer to the towns and cities.

The interest in the region is fuelling development and new home builders are now keen to find proceedable land. There have been some good brownfield developments put forward in the region but there is now real pressure in places on agricultural land and the Green Belt and it is important that the balance is retained to ensure that housing development doesn’t destroy the very thing that is attracting people to the region.

First time buyers are finding it particularly tough and local authorities are encouraging shared ownership, self-build and other innovations to try to support new entrants on to the housing ladder. With remote working and rising fuel costs, locations with good rail connections are set to rise in popularity as we go through 2022.

Featured property: St. Margaret’s Close, Backwell, North Somerset – £720,000

Oxfordshire property image
STATS: Average property price: £847,741 Average rental: £2,013 pcm Average time taken for property to sell: 44 days


Rowan Waller, Managing Director

2021 was an extraordinary year but it was very much a game of two halves, with a huge surge in transactions prior to 30th June fuelled largely by the Stamp Duty holiday, but then what felt like a trickle by comparison taking us through the second half of the year. This year, however, I do expect to be very positive throughout – much more akin to 2020. I genuinely believe that this will be the ‘post-pandemic’ year – not because Covid will disappear at all, but insofar as public sentiment goes, in terms of how it governs their lives, as ‘the new normality’ feels very much like it might just resemble the old one.

The mood already seems to be one in which the public wishes to ‘get back to normal’ and this has brought a renewed sense of consumer confidence that has seen our own activity levels jump fifteen-fold month on month. In fact, we are currently running ahead of where we were this time last year – which seems extraordinary. House prices have risen by almost 10% in the space of 12 months, the largest increase since 2004, whilst at the same time new instructions of properties for sale dropped by around 6%. With stock levels still low across our region and with buyer appetite as high as it is as we enter the new year, it will take a lot more than a couple of base rate increases to keep a lid on rising prices or on buyer demand.

Landlords selling

Locally, and especially in Oxford, I believe we will see more landlords beginning to offload rental properties from their portfolios as tenancies come to an end throughout the year, particularly those that have traditionally been let to students – in part due to the legislation changes around EPC rating requirements (although still a way off), but largely due to the numbers of new university-built student accommodation which now offers very stiff competition to those landlords. With prices at their current height and buyer demand up as it is, it makes sense.

Residential purchasers will take advantage of these, as new building in Oxford is so lacking, and as this will then take private rented sector houses out of circulation, and we can expect to see rental prices push up further. I sense any Chancellor will look to begin to recoup monies spent on emergency Covid measures and that landlords within the private rented sector will continue to look like an easy target.

Featured property: North Oxford – sold for £1.4 million

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