Rural scene with a train

Location preference changes lead to growth in commuter towns

With the increase in homeworking, more professionals are moving from city centres to commuter towns. This is opening up opportunities for buy-to-let landlords.

Living outside of cities can give you the best of both worlds. This provides the chance to experience everything the city has to offer. At the same time, buyers and renters can often save money and afford a better quality of life.

When it comes to commuter town options, there are so many across the UK. Popularity changes based on things like current and future investment projects. Train route upgrades and house price changes can also impact this.

Shifting working routines

The shift in working routines is changing location preferences. A range of businesses have embraced homeworking. And some companies are adapting to hybrid working models with a mix of home and office working. This is leading many city workers to looking further afield when choosing where they want to live.

Jon Knott, head of customer insights at Dojo, comments: “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.”

Where are the top commuter towns?

A new report by Dojo revealed which UK commuter towns and cities have seen the biggest growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The card payment provider gathered data on the property market, job vacancies, salaries and footfall from January 2020 to March 2021.

Dojo then scored and compared the data to the previous year. This then illustrated the percentage increase in growth of commuter towns and cities in the UK. London commuter towns in particular boomed throughout the pandemic.

Exeter and Eastbourne saw the strongest growth with a 17.94% and 15.88% increase respectively. Worthing, Norwich and Oxford all saw prospects grow by more than 4%. Cambridge followed in sixth with a 2.96% increase.

Rochdale of Greater Manchester came in seventh with 2.36%. Interestingly, this commuter town was recently named one of the top up-and-coming property hotspots and UK rental hotspots with rent per month having increased by over 30% in the past year. The town has also registered annual house price growth of more than 9%.

Milton Keynes, Slough and Crawley then round out the top 10. With some offices starting to reopen, these commuter towns and cities will likely see further growth in the coming months.

Lucrative opportunities for landlords

As location preferences are changing, this is opening up opportunities for landlords. Commuter towns often have more affordable entry prices than prime city locations. Rental yields are sometimes higher as well.

Recent research by London estate agent Portico revealed commuting hotspots for the capital are generating especially high yields for landlords, particularly when compared to the rest of London.

Commuter towns that will likely see further growth in the coming years are ones set to benefit from transport investment and other kinds of regeneration. This includes areas of London near Crossrail stations and parts of the Midlands and north of England that will see transport improvements from HS2.

At BuyAssociation, we have a range of property investment opportunities available in commuter towns across the UK. Contact us for more information.

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