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In 2019, Bracknell is a prime example of an emerging market – attracting global corporate headquarters, experiencing huge tenant demand and in the midst of a large-scale regeneration project – all excellent signposts for potential investors.
Home to a population of around 120,000, Bracknell has experienced rapid growth that doesn’t look set to stop – by 2039 experts are forecasting a further rise to 141,000. Unemployment in Bracknell currently sits at 2.5%, significantly lower than the UK average of 4.5% and of the local population, 86% are in active employment, 50% of which are in managerial and directorial roles.
In the current market, Bracknell has an average property price of £362,338. While this makes the area much more affordable than its surroundings, it still equals prices rising by 249% since 1999. When compared to surrounding popular areas such as London (£729,105), Woking (£483,075) and Guildford (£534,993), Bracknell represents a much more valuable proposition that is forecasting incredible growth.
During 2018, some areas of Bracknell Forest saw property prices rise by nearly 19%. With the South East market set to outpace the national average by 2022, growing by around 3% each year to make up a cumulative 12%, Bracknell will sit at the heart of the fastest-growing region in the UK.
Bracknell Town Centre Vision 2032: Unprecedented Regeneration
A key driver in the growth of Bracknell is the progressive regeneration project the town centre is currently experiencing. The large-scale project is designed to enhance key transport, infrastructure, healthcare and education programs while creating iconic new residential, commercial and retail spaces. With nearly £770 million committed to the wider region, Bracknell Forest is developing every aspect of the town centre for both investors and residents.
Over four phases, this dynamic plan will blend quality residential, commercial, retail and leisure developments with exceptional employment opportunities, world-class green spaces and incredible connectivity with neighbouring London, Reading and Basingstoke.
The jewel in the crown of Bracknell’s transformation is The Lexicon, a vibrant retail and leisure destination that will comprise 1 million sq.ft of high-end retail space. Boasting retailers including Fenwick, Waitrose, Joules, L’Occitane and Marks & Spencer as well as celebratory public spaces, The Lexicon is just one example of how Bracknell is building the foundations of a high-performing investment market.
Forming the UK’s Silicon Valley
Bracknell is a vital hub for the world’s technology industries. A major catalyst of its expansion is its evolution as a digital hub, helping form the cornerstone of the UK tech corridor alongside Reading. Bracknell’s technology sector has provided the basis for market growth over the last 10 years, with nearly 40% of office takeup by tech firms.
Across the wider region, Bracknell has attracted some of the world’s most forward-thinking technology, engineering and automotive giants including HP, Dell, Honda, Hitachi and Waitrose and Partners. In turn, this has attracted an ambitious, young workforce, discerning professionals that want somewhere beautiful to live and excellent employment opportunities. For investors that want to identify strong tenant demand, Bracknell is forecasting a 15% rise in the population by 2036, one of the highest in the country.
Another big signpost for investors looking at opportunities in the commuter belt is the continued decline of London property prices and the number of residents moving to more affordable markets. ONS figures show that property price growth in the capital has slowed to a new six-and-a-half-year low and nearly double the number of residents are leaving for less expensive regions.
This is where commuter towns such as Bracknell can flourish – offering much lower property prices without compromising on direct access across the South East. Productivity is always important for both investors and tenants, especially when making a decision on an investment. As 2019 continues and regional areas in the wider market perform, Bracknell is demonstrating the high-level of productivity it is maintaining and even expanding upon, drawing huge investor and tenant demand.