A bridge in Bristol

Over a quarter of the households in Bristol are private rental tenants, compared to an average figure of 19% in England. Bristol is a city home to two universities, the University of Bristol and the University of West England, along with the SS Great Britain passenger ship, Harbourside street food markets, the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Clifton Observatory, and a long list of parks and green spaces. There are endless things to see and do living in Bristol. Therefore, don’t be surprised if your buy-to-let in Bristol becomes highly sought after in no time. Let’s take a look at the best areas of Bristol to invest in buy-to-lets for landlords.

Colourful houses in Bristol

Having a buy-to-let in Bristol could be a strong investment that provides you with a passive income well in your retirement years. For instance, according to the Zoopla September 2023 UK Rental Market Report, the average rent per calendar month in Bristol was £1,315, which is high compared to the average UK outer London rent of £958. Thereby, if you keep your running costs low, you can make a healthy rental yield by investing in a buy-to-let in Bristol.


At CIA Landlords, we are a brokerage with 20+ years of experience in providing landlord insurance in Bristol. So, we know a fair bit about the different neighbourhoods of Bristol and what they can offer property investors. Get a quote from us today if you are after competitive landlord insurance in Bristol.


Here, we have created a guide to the best areas of Bristol to invest in buy-to-lets, focusing on the areas of Bishopston, Clifton, Redland, Sea Mills, Southville, and St Pauls. 


Rental prices for buy-to-lets in Bristol


A significant factor which will determine how much you make as an investor of buy-to-lets in Bristol will be how much rent tenants pay you. Just as the cost of living has affected tenants, it has not gone unfelt by landlords and their overheads are up these days, and inflation and recent price hikes have made achieving rental yields more challenging. 


Clifton has the highest average rental prices


With its Georgian-style houses, dramatic scenery, and high end restaurants, it’s little surprise that property investors in Clifton, Bristol can collect high monthly rents from tenants. In the data we uncovered, the average rental cost per month for a property in Clifton was £2,130, which is £436 per month more than the average rent for properties in the Southville area.


The leafy Sea Mills came in a close second with an average monthly rent of £2,018.


Ranking (highest-lowest monthly rent) Area of Bristol Average rent per month
1 Clifton £2,130
2 Sea Mills £2,018
3 Redland £1,837
4 Bishopston £1,826
5 St Pauls £1,747
6 Southville £1,694


Source https://www.home.co.uk/for_rent/ 


Average property prices in Bristol


The dream for all Bristol buy-to-let investors is to buy a house at a low cost, rent the place to tenants at a decent price, and for it to subsequently increase in value over the years above inflation. That way, you will have the fallback option of selling the property at a greater price and it will be a win-win investment for you.


The average cost of buying a property in Bristol in August 2023 was £352,156, compared to the UK average of £291,044. Hence, there are major potential advantages if you manage to get your hands on a Bristol property at a lower fee as a buy-to-let landlord. But remember, it may take a fair investment of time and money for you to upgrade and renovate a lower priced Bristol property so it can go on to fetch higher rent prices, since lower value homes in the city may not always come in perfect condition when you first purchase them. 


Southville has the lowest value semi detached properties on average


Southville on the South Bank of the River Avon is often known as Bristol’s Notting Hill. Looking to invest in the neighbourhood of Southville as a buy-to-let investor in Bristol? If so, it will be music to your ears that out of the six popular Bristol areas we looked at, Southville had the lowest priced semi detached homes, at an average of £536,295 for properties sold in the last year.


On the other end of the property cost scale, semi detached houses in Clifton sold in the last year fetched £1,233,875 on average. Own a semi detached buy-to-let house in Clifton, and you will need to ensure that you receive a high monthly rent for it from tenants. 


Ranking (lowest-highest value) Area of Bristol Average semi detached property value
1 Southville £536,295
2 Sea Mills £644,933
3 Bishopston £746,546
4 St Pauls £793,704
5 Redland £970,420
6 Clifton £1,233,875


Source https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/  

Sea Mills has the lowest value terraced properties on average


As a buy-to-let investor, you can snap up a terraced property in Sea Mills for an average price of £369,661, which was the most affordable for terraced homes out of the Bristol areas we looked at. Hoping to have family tenants renting your property? Sea Mills could be a great choice since there are many schools in this green area of the city and it is popular with young families. 


Considering being a student landlord? Bishopston and Clifton are two areas that students often go for. However, on average in the last year, terraced properties in both areas went for £723,718 and £933,786 respectively. Therefore, getting rental yields and making money from terraced properties in Redland is more challenging, but doable if you go about things the right way and fulfill your landlord responsibilities. 


Ranking (lowest-highest value) Area of Bristol Average terraced property value
1 Sea Mills £369,661
2 Southville £484,822
3 St Pauls £516,964
4 Bishopston £588,925
5 Redland £723,718
6 Clifton £933,786


Source https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/ 


Southville has the lowest value flats on average


Are you hoping to get a reasonably priced flat as a buy-to-let investment in Bristol? Flats in the Southville area sold last year went for an average of £272,939. Pick up a handsome rental fee from a two or three bedroom flat in Southville as a landlord, and you could be onto a winner. Flats in the prosperous area of Clifton on average cost just under £140,000 more, at £420,806.


Ranking (lowest-highest value) Area of Bristol Average value of flats
1 Southville £272,939
2 St Pauls £295,836
3 Sea Mills £320,100
4 Bishopston £354,119
5 Redland £392,998
6 Clifton £420,806


Source https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/ 


Redland is the most affluent Bristol neighbourhood 


As a landlord investing in a property in Bristol, you may be interested in knowing which are the most affluent areas of the city. The data we found shows the average annual income is highest in Redland, at £59,500 per year. In comparison, the average annual salary in the UK in 2023 was £34,963.


Trying to rent to tenants with a stable income? Securing a buy-to-let property in the areas of Redland, Bishopston, or Clifton could be a smart idea. 


Ranking (highest-lowest) Area of Bristol Average annual income
1 Redland £59,500
2 Bishopston £57,900
3 Clifton £54,000
4 Southville £47500
5 St Pauls £46,700
6 Sea Mills £43,600


Source https://townnames.co.uk/search/postcode-income-results 


Bristol areas with the best local schools


If you are looking to have families as your tenants, they will look for a property in Bristol that is near good schools. So, owning a buy-to-let close to well performing schools will benefit you as a landlord, and it can lead to you having no trouble at all in finding new tenants.


We looked at how many primary and secondary schools located in the different areas of Bristol have outstanding OFSTED reports. As you may be aware, OFSTED inspections have gotten much more stringent in recent years, so, getting an ‘outstanding rating’ is a real achievement. Bishopston, Redland, Sea Mills, and Southville all have 2 primary or secondary schools with outstanding OFSTED reports.


Ranking (highest-lowest number) Area of Bristol Number of primary and secondary schools with outstanding Ofsted reports
1 Bishopston 2
2 Redland 2
3 Sea Mills 2
4 Southville 2
5 Clifton 1
6 St Pauls 0


Source https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/search 


Sea Mills and Redland have the lowest crime rates 


Everyone likes to feel safe in their own home. Tenants of your buy-to-let in Bristol will be attracted to living in a neighbourhood with low crime rates. The data we found uncovered that in March 2023, Sea Mills and Redland had the lowest crime rates for the total number of offences. In contrast, the St Pauls and Southville areas of Bristol have the highest crime rates in March 2023. 


Inevitably, crime rates usually tend to be higher in urban areas. But there are definitely safe parts of Bristol where you can invest in buy-to-lets that rental tenants will be easily drawn to. 


Ranking (lowest-highest number) Area of Bristol Crime rate (Total number of criminal offences in March 2023)
1 Sea Mills 163
2 Redland 183
3 Clifton 210
4 Bishopston 344
5 St Pauls 386
6 Southville 417


Source https://www.ukcrimestats.com/Postcode_Districts/ 




Given all the factors we have considered, you should now have a clearer idea of the best areas of Bristol to invest in buy-to-lets. The best area of Bristol to invest in buy-to-lets for you will ultimately depend on


  • The sort of tenants you want to have living in your rental property (e.g. students, families, young professionals) 
  • Your initial budget for purchasing a property
  • The current state of the local property market in Bristol price-wise. 




A major part of whether your buy-to-let in Bristol will be successful is the initial cost of the property vs the rent you receive per month for it from tenants, or what’s known as the ‘rental yield’. As a result, we sought data on average monthly rental prices and average house sale prices in the six areas of Bristol we chose to look at using their postcodes. 


To represent the most affluent areas, we used data on average annual income in the postcodes of the six areas of Bristol we looked at. Then, when addressing the area with the best schools, we looked at OFSTED report ratings. 


We know that landlords need to be aware of tenants wanting to live in safe urban neighbourhoods. When finally used local crime data to show that according to March 2023 data, Sea Mills is the safest neighbourhood in Bristol out of the ones we looked at. 



















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