Monday, 8 November 2010

Anglesey the commuter belt of Gwynedd?

Yesterday we asked why is there a net outflow of the age group 16-24 from the island, “it’s for the jobs” I hear you cry, but as any good researcher would say, lets consider the evidence that supports this assertion.

We start by looking at the estimated total migration to and from the island last year. The first chart show the top destination for those moving from the island, and the second chart shows the top locations of where people moving to the island where coming from. In 2009 the total migration was balanced.

Chart 1 From Anglesey

Chart 2 To Anglesey

As can be seen the major movement is between the island and Gwynedd.

For the age group we are considering could this be because of house prices? The latest average house prices show that they are lower in Anglesey than in Gwynedd, the exception being flats/maisonettes. But seeing that the average price of a flat in Gwynedd was around £84,000 and the average salary on the island was £19,700 in 2007 even before the closure of the smelter plan, that makes it a bit out of the reach of most first time buyers.

Then there’s rentals, according to nestoria rental prices of properties are similar between the island and Gwynedd. The difference could be supply, and on the day I carried out the search of all rental properties on the web site, in Anglesey there where 38 properties available and in Gwynedd 95. Not a scientific sample and applying a very broad brush a ratio of 2.5 properties for rent in Gwynedd for every 1 in Anglesey.

Therefore the main reason is unlikely to be to buy a house, finding somewhere affordable to rent could be part of the reason, but most likely the main reason will be for a decent job.

Imagine a scene and a moment in time, we would see on Britannia Bridge if you focused in, a young man travelling in a transit van that his father has borrowed from a mate, travelling towards the mainland to his first job and flat.

And then time travel quickly 25 years into the future and on the same bridge travelling in the other direction you may find that very same young man, now older and wiser in a saloon car, with his wife besides him, following a large removals van returning back home, so to speak.

If you look at the map (see here) showing the most and least deprived areas on Anglesey you will see a West and East split, with the west side being the most deprived. Then think of the congestion on Britannia bridge for vehicles leaving the island in the peak morning flow, and t’other direction at the peak evening flow. Then add in commuting distance to Bangor, Caernarfon, Conwy, Llandudno. What conclusion can you reach?

I think there is a net outflow of young people leaving to find decent jobs, and when they are financially secure they return to find a home on the island, primarily it seem in the East of the island so they can commute to their jobs on the mainland. I have of course made a number of assumptions, but above all it’s a scenario that makes sense, and the evidence that I have looked at seems to support it.

This is an important factor for the GVA of the island. The evidence supports what seems to be obvious, that Anglesey is mostly rural residential areas, and of those living here; especially in the East of the island, there is likely to be a high number commuting to the mainland for work, in relation to wage earned and job security.

No comments: