Slough Employment Forecast Driving New Tenant Demand
As one of the key commuter towns in the South East and the most productive urban area in the UK, the Slough employment forecast shows an exceptional standard of career opportunities is contributing to its growing demand.
Home to a population of around 149,500 at last count, Slough is largely made up of three demographics – those that live and work locally in one of over 6,500 Slough businesses and those that commute from or to London, a journey that can be made in under 20 minutes.
With nearly 34,700 commuting into Slough and 30,900 commuting outward on a daily basis, there’s no denying that Slough is one of the most established commuter destinations in the country. This has attracted many global brands and subsequently, created a consistent level of demand for high quality employment opportunities.
According to ONS, it’s expected that by the end of this year Slough’s population will have risen to 158,000, highlighting how in-demand the town currently is.
With this in mind, we’re examining how the Slough employment forecast for 2021 is demonstrating the commuter town’s potential for investors seeking an emerging market in a booming UK industry.
Businesses in Slough
At last count, there were 6,555 businesses across Slough, all contributing to an incredible economy worth around £9 billion and cementing Slough as the most productive urban area in the UK relative to its size.
The majority of these businesses fill two sectors – information & communication and professional, scientific & technical – highlighting the progressive, forward-thinking businesses that Slough is adopting. While the majority are classified as ‘micro’ businesses (employing between 1 – 9 people), Slough also benefits from having a variety of large, global brands located within its ecosystem.
Around 40 businesses are classified as ‘large’ – i.e having over 250 employees – operating within Slough, a number that has grown significantly over the last decade. Similarly, hosting the headquarters of worldwide businesses such as O2, McAfee, Fiat UK and Honda means that Slough is consistently attracting some of the UK’s best and brightest young professionals, all of whom are contributing to a rising population and a growing demand for quality accommodation.
This is where investors should take note. Tenant demand is one of the most vital factors for any Buy-to-Let investment and having a consistent source of demand can mitigate void periods within a property investment.
With nearly 46% of homes in Slough also let out to London renters – many of whom are leaving for affordability reasons – there’s another channel of demand that is only set to increase as London becomes an increasingly expensive place to live.
This is why we’ve also invested in Slough with New Eton House and The Metalworks. Both of these developments are looking to combat low residential supply in Slough while also meeting the specific needs for key demographics in the town – whether that’s connectivity with London or easy access to the career opportunities mentioned above.
Economic Growth in Slough
In terms of the local economy, Slough remains one of the cornerstones of the thriving ‘South East’. Despite being much smaller than the capital, Slough continues to challenge London on a number of metrics relative to its size.
Gross value added (GVA) is one of these metrics. GVA measures the increase in the value of the economy based on the production of goods and services and is often measured on a ‘per worker’ basis, with the average GVA per worker in the UK sitting at around £57,000. London reaches highs of around £80,000 but Slough, thanks to the quality of the employment opportunities on offer and the skill of its workforce, averages at £82,000 per worker.
While this emphasises the commercial potential of Slough’s business district, it also demonstrates how emerging locations are pushing to the forefront and exceeding traditionally popular hotspots. This also means that Slough’s workforce continues to upskill, ensuring higher salaries and a demand for higher quality residential accommodation.
Then we have to consider the vast amount of investment being poured into Slough. Over the last 10 years and certainly over the next, around £3 billion has been allocated by Slough Council in an attempt to stimulate long-term economic growth while building the amenities to meet rising demand.
This regeneration is expected to deliver at least 10,000 new jobs for the population, while creating progressive mixed-use spaces that can fit efficiently into the local landscape. Similarly, while not a Slough project, the new Elizabeth Line (otherwise known as Crossrail) will help transform Slough’s already world-class connectivity, guaranteeing higher-capacity travel between key South East locations.
For investors, these are all clear signs that Slough is building on its foundations as a commercial hub to deliver the amenities and employment opportunities that residents are looking for. These are all factors that contribute to long-term property and rental growth, which is why we’ve listed Slough as one of our key ‘emerging places to invest in 2021’.
In terms of investment opportunity, Slough is expected to see property prices rise by 17.5% and rental prices rise by 8% over the next four years as a result of this continued regeneration. This makes developments such as New Eton House and The Metalworks clear opportunities for investors to get into a relatively affordable South East market and start delivering returns.