Is Bristol a ‘Brexit resistant’ city? - Business Leader News

Is Bristol a ‘Brexit resistant’ city?

Dr Walter Boettcher, chief economist at Colliers International

Bristol has been highlighted as a ‘Brexit-resistant’ city by a leading property economist.

Speaking at a business breakfast in London for property investors Dr Walter Boettcher, UK chief economist at commercial property specialist Colliers International, said Bristol was driven by the ‘real economy’ and as a result was less vulnerable to concerns over Brexit.

He said: “After a long summer break, I returned to my desk to review the markets afresh and I was shocked at how fast technical change was taking hold across the full range of UK businesses.

“It was so striking that my latest working hypothesis is that technological change is far more important in driving the market than politics in general and Brexit in particular.

“In property markets, technology may also be a more powerful exponent of change than traditional financial and cyclical drivers. Looking at Bristol, like a few other regional cities, it looks to be relatively Brexit resistant.”

Boettcher gave his view on Bristol’s economy to potential investors in the city, who had gathered for a business breakfast at Heron Tower in the City of London, organised by the Bristol office of Colliers International.

He continued: “While the Bristol economy was exposed to Brexit risk through its large financial sector exposure, that this exposure was primarily through domestic banking and therefore not as sensitive as London based internationally focused finance.”

According to forecasts, over the next five years Bristol could expect to see strong growth of 4.2% per annum in professional, scientific and technical activities in contrast to 1.9& in financial & insurance activities.

Tim Davies, head of the Bristol office of Colliers International, said: “We were delighted that Walter was able to share his knowledge with some key clients interested in investing in Bristol, and were particularly pleased with his conclusion that Bristol is a ‘Brexit-resistant’ city.

“This very much reflects our own experience of the strength of the Bristol economy and the way in which it appears to have been unaffected by concerns about Brexit. This year has seen office rents in the city centre reach an all-time high of £30 per sq ft, and industrial rents in the Bristol area are among the highest outside London and the South East.”