Avison Young: Cardiff is experiencing a speedier recovery compared to the wider UK

Since the beginning of August, Cardiff has experienced a speedier recovery compared to the wider UK, according to Avison Young’s UK Cities Recovery Index. The recovery indicators for Cardiff stood at 94.2* on 27th September, compared to 85.8 for the national equivalent.

The UK Cities Recovery Index suggests that the rate of recovery nationally across the UK has significantly slowed after reaching a peak on September 4th with the highest reading to date of 88 compared to the lowest of 33 on April 30th. Despite early signs of encouraging recovery, a combination of new government guidance and general concern among the public has seen this recovery level off, and in some cases begin to decline.

The Recovery Index uses a variety of high-frequency indicators to track key aspects of city life and includes detailed analysis and insights into the rate and trajectory of recovery following the impact caused by COVID-19. By monitoring the way in which the pandemic impacts different aspects of the economy and society almost in real-time, Avison Young is able to identify early signs of any significant shift in recent trends. The indices reflect different aspects of city life, including commercial activity, return to office, retail, residential and hotels & leisure.

The Hotel & Leisure Sector Index for Cardiff has played an important part in the city’s performance. The sector experienced significant increases mid-July as self-catering accommodation and then hotels were permitted to resume socially-distanced operations. As the borders opened up on 6th July, a significant increase in the amount of car travel followed.

However, the Hotel & Leisure Sector Index for Cardiff has since decreased from its 31st August peak of 103.6 to 82.8 on 27th September.

With local lockdowns and the new 10pm curfew, the Hotel & Leisure sector is currently facing increased pressures. ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ saw bookings in restaurants and pubs from Monday to Wednesday increase above pre-lockdown levels with bookings increasing nationally by 53% during August.

Naturally, with many turning to ‘staycations’ rather than travelling abroad, the hotel sector has also seen a partial rebound and some signs of recovery after seeing widespread closure during lockdown. However, with children heading back to school, parents returning to work and business travel severely curtailed, the Hotel & Leisure Index has declined consistently since the end of August.

This initial decline is a potential early indication of the trend of the coming weeks and a reflection of the direct impact that government guidelines have on the way the public are choosing to spend their time.

Peter Constantine, managing director Avison Young, Cardiff says, “The hospitality industry was starting to recover, but now with local lockdowns it remains to be seen what effect these restrictions will have not just on the Hotel & Leisure sector in Wales, but on the wider economy.”

Peter continues, “Summer brought a welcome respite for the UK from the human, social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The extent and timing of recovery has varied across sectors and cities. The Recovery Index allows us to identify key trends as they emerge and examine their components.

“It is encouraging that Cardiff has been experiencing a speedier recovery than the wider UK. We now wait to see how that plays out over the coming weeks and months.”