SELBY saw one of the biggest declines out of all UK commuter towns during the pandemic, a new report has found.
Card payment provider Dojo analysed which commuter towns and nearby cities in the UK have seen the slowest movement and growth during the Covid-19 pandemic.
With a high number of businesses embracing home-working and reducing the number of days required in the office, many city workers are willing to live further away from their place of work and relocate. But which towns have seen the biggest change?
The research was based on the change in property prices and number of sales in the area; job vacancies; the average wage of employees and footfall – from the station to the workplace and residential movement detected on Google Maps.
Each data point was then scored and compared to the previous year to discover the percentage increase in growth for commuter towns across the UK.
The North Yorkshire market town of Selby ranked fifth place, declining at -27.06 per cent.
Despite Selby house sales increasing by 40.43 per cent from January to November in 2020, the number of prices saw a slow increase.
Job vacancies increased slightly in the area but were still low in comparison to other towns at only four vacancies for every 1,000 people.
Salaries also decreased by -5.93 per cent.
Footfall dropped with people working from home – for example Selby station’s footfall decreased by -28.35 per cent.
Towards the top of the list, Bridgend in Wales was first place. The town is halfway between Swansea and Cardiff but – despite its prominent position – it saw a -34.56 per cent decline in growth compared to the previous year due partially to slower property sales.
The popular London commuter town of Luton also struggled with a -29.51 per cent drop in growth. Dojo said the lockdown restrictions seemingly put a halt to its usual worker influx.
Salford came third place as the thriving Manchester hub saw its growth slowed. It had a -28.49 per cent decrease.
Jon Knott, head of customer insights at Dojo, said: “During the course of the coronavirus pandemic, the interest in commuter towns has seen a substantial increase.
“With working from home here to stay and less time needing to be spent in the office, many city dwellers have decided to relocate from built up urban areas.
“Despite a longer commute time when venturing into the office, the benefits of generally cheaper and more spacious properties in commuter towns has attracted many to these areas.
“Despite fluctuations and instability, the coronavirus pandemic has brought growth to new businesses and has helped consumers appreciate the value of independent businesses.
“With more people now choosing commuter towns as their place of work and leisure, small businesses in the area will enjoy an uptick in footfall.
“Now lockdown is easing, businesses could be set to boom from customers determined to make the most of rediscovered freedoms.”
Dojo has published further explanations of the data via https://dojo.tech/blog/commuter-town-growth/
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