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    Bristol: market ‘second best in Europe’

    Commercial property scene across city stays strong

    The commercial property market in Bristol is the second strongest in Europe, according to a survey.

    The study says only Dublin achieves a higher placing in the forecast of market strength in office, industrial and retail property sectors – ahead of capital cities including London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels.

    Knight Frank used a mix of demographic, property and economic data in a detailed forecasting model to test the market outlook for commercial property.

    Bristol was the star all-round performer across the UK and Europe, rating highly in all three sectors of office, industrial and retail property.

    The report was part of the global real estate forecast published by Knight Frank and Grubb & Ellis, its strategic partner in the US.

    Catherine Penman, head of commercial research for Knight Frank, said: “The Bristol commercial property sector is clearly very strong and shows significant potential.

    “It is perhaps the best result for any European city given that other cities rate highly in one area but Bristol has a strong outlook in the office, industrial and retail property sectors.”

    The notion to “go west” is not new as the city became a major financial services centre following migrations from London that started in the 1970s. According to the study, the appetite and capacity for further growth exists. It points to major commercial regeneration in the city centre, at Temple Quay and elsewhere around the city.

    The situation is mirrored in residential and mixed-use developments.

    Bristol has long been a centre for “city living” which has become fashionable in other UK cities in the last decade and new waterfront and city-centre housing developments are under construction or in the pipeline.

    Andrew Brooksbank, head of the commercial team for Knight Frank in Bristol, said: “The Bristol market is in good shape. The indicators are very positive and the sentiment of the forecast is in line with the market intelligence and insight of our Bristol team.

    “What we must recognise is that the survey is a forecast of potential and planners, developers and agents need to seize the opportunity to exploit that potential.”

    Bristol Evening Post: 08.02.2005