PriceHubble data shows renters moving further from their workplace

PriceHubble explore the question of how the industry provides for renters with non-office-based jobs who are tied to their workplace and exposed to rapidly rising rents.

PriceHubble has released insights from its latest study, Astute Commute: An assessment of commuting patterns for people living in rental homes | BTR News
PriceHubble has released insights from its latest study, Astute Commute: An assessment of commuting patterns for people living in rental homes.

Europe’s leader in property data solutions for finance and real estate – PriceHubble – has unveiled its study, ‘Astute Commute: An assessment of commuting patterns for people living in rental homes’ that assesses the distance between home and workplace for renters in the UK between 2019 and 2023.

The research was based on 2.1 million records of renters’ home and workplace addresses and considered changes over time, differences between those with office and non-office-based jobs, and variations between age cohorts.

PriceHubble’s study found that the distance between home and workplace had jumped by 24% between 2019 and 2023, from an average 4.9 miles in 2019 to 6.1 miles in 2023. There was also a step change between 2020 and 2021 when the pandemic caused so many to shift to working from home. However, the gap between work and home has continued to widen in the years since then.

Renters generally commit to 12-month leases and therefore have the flexibility to reverse decisions made during the pandemic quickly. This makes the findings more significant.

PriceHubble’s analysts then segmented the data into renters with jobs most likely to require them to travel to a particular workplace – such as teachers, medical staff, retail workers, and those working in hospitality and those more likely to be able to spend at least part of their week working from home – in office-based jobs. They found a marked difference between the two groups.

“The appeal of the city for young people is reinforced by this study. It is the older renters who are living further from their workplaces. Young people are attracted by the life of the city – its bars, restaurants, culture and social opportunities. Most likely, the office workers are spending some days working from home but they still crave the vitality of the city. That is why Build to Rent operators have found co-working spaces to be so popular in their developments. But once renters reach the family years, they are drawn by the appeal of space, both inside and outside the home. The institutional rental sector is well-aware of the demand and is developing homes that appeal at all life stages.”

Sandra Jones, Managing Director, PriceHubble UK

The distance between work and home for office workers leapt from an average of 5.1 miles in 2019 to 6.7 miles in 2023, a 31% increase, while for non-office workers, it hardly changed at all over that period being an average of 3.6 miles in 2019 and 3.7 miles in 2023.

The researchers found that there were significant differences for different age groups. Younger renters in their 20s were more likely to live close to work. That was true for both office and non-office workers but in all age groups, office workers lived significantly further from their workplace than non-office workers.

For renters aged 40 and above, with office-based employment, the average distance between home and workplace was around 10 miles. The findings underline the appeal of the city for young workers. Taking Manchester as a case study, PriceHubble found that 20-something renters with an office job in the city centre were living within 1.3 miles of their workplace, and that there was no difference between them and the non-office workers of the same age.

By the time they reached their 30s, the office workers were renting homes almost four miles further away than the non-office group.