Covid-19 inspired many home buyers to make the big move outside of cities while remote working was at its peak. The Greater Manchester region, in particular, proved to have one of the biggest house price increases in all of the UK over the last four years, increasing 36 percent compared to London’s just 14 percent increase. Selecta UK has dived into the latest data to crown the most desirable commuter town for those whose work takes them into Manchester, with Wilmslow coming out on top.
The company standardised the latest city and country-level data available for key categories including train travel time to Manchester, annual season ticket cost, school ratings, crime ratings and available wellness facilities to rate the most desirable commuter towns to Manchester from best to worst. As part of Cheshire’s affluent ‘Golden Triangle’, together with Alderley Edge and Prestbury, it’s no surprise Wilmslow landed the top spot as Manchester’s most desirable commuter town with a score of 8.06.
The town is home to a whole host of celebrities, including Sir Alex Fergurson, footballer Rio Ferdinand and TV personality Kerry Katona and it has easy to access central Manchester, which is just an 18-minute train ride away.
Wilmslow scores favourably in most categories, but in particular for its ‘Instagrammability’. Wilmslow boasts of over 420,000 Instagram posts, significantly more than any other town, giving it the highest score out of all the towns listed, and Wilmslow is often one of the first places in the North West to benefit from higher end businesses, often from London.
It also receives the top score for the number of picturesque National Trust properties in its vicinity. For example, Quarry Bank – a grade 2 historic textile mill complete with gardens, a café and 400 acres to explore – is less than a 10-minute drive away, meaning alongside those in Wilmslow being able to get to Manchester, the same is true if you fancy a day out away from the city.
Wilmslow also has the highest percentage of outstanding-rated schools of all the surrounding towns (29 percent). Only Holmes Chapel, also in Cheshire, matched Wilmslow’s impressive school ratings, topping off its score as best commuter town in Manchester.
Wilmslow is closely followed by Urmston (7.48) and Cheadle (7.3) in the second and third places, with Ashton-Under-Lyne (6.3) and Stalybridge (5.9) completing the top five towns.