Bristol has been ranked for the first time in the Top 20 of the European Cities of Influence index from global real estate advisor Colliers International.

It joins leading cities including Paris, Madrid, Dublin, Zurich, Warsaw, and Edinburgh on the comprehensive annual list of 50 cities, in which London achieved top place.

Bristol has been placed in 12th position in this year’s index, rising from 42nd place in the inaugural research last year. It has also been ranked in second place overall in the Small Cities sub-category of the index for cities with a population of below two million, just behind Edinburgh.

Tim Davies, Bristol-based head of the South West and Wales at Colliers International, said: “Bristol is a city with so much going for it, and it comes as no surprise to see such an impressive performance in the European Cities of Influence index.

“Not only does Bristol benefit from a superb location that helps create a great work-life balance, but it has a thriving business quarter and is home to two highly-regarded universities. Recent figures have shown that more than 80 people a week are moving to Bristol from London.

“Bristol is the capital of one of the UK’s major regions for growth, and has been identified by the UK chief economist of Colliers International as being ‘Brexit-resistant’ because it is driven by a ‘real economy’, and enjoys a good balance of professionals in sectors including Technology Media & Telecommunications (TMT), financial, engineering and scientific.

“Bristol has been increasingly attracting attention from investors turning away from London to regional markets and non-core locations, and all the signs are that it will continue to strengthen its position as a highly-desirable destination for capital and occupiers.”

The Cities of Influence report reviews and ranks 50 European cities as destinations for investment capital, based on their occupier attractiveness, availability of talent, and quality of life factors alongside economic output and productivity.

London heads the list for the second year running, with Paris, Madrid, Moscow and Birmingham making up the rest of the top five.

Damian Harrington, author of the report and head of EMEA Research at Colliers International, added: “We’re delighted to see Bristol make the top 20 of the Cities of Influence rankings for 2018, and take second spot overall in the ‘small city’ category.

“There is a very strong talent pool in Bristol, with a strong orientation towards higher value-add sectors, notably Technology Media and Telecommunications (TMT). This continues to grow and expand, in part driven by fresh graduates emerging from the local university catchment. It is also of note that Bristol has the highest quality of life score of all the English cities in the Cities of Influence survey.

“As the local economy expands and diversifies, we expect to see higher levels of real estate investment in the year ahead.”

He added that political conditions in some cities curtailed international investment, such as in Moscow, ands in others such as Milan concerns over the banking industry and political uncertainty were holding back both investment and occupier growth.

“For the UK and French regional cities, however, the ongoing policies of economic devolution and more labour market flexibility should see a renewed distribution of capital into these markets, product allowing,” he said.

“When compared to the German Big7, and the major Nordic capitals, UK cities in particular look significantly under-invested, given their occupier strength and growth potential.”