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Big house price savings if you’re prepared to commute

Written by: Christina Hoghton
London commuters can save hundreds of thousands of pounds on property prices if they accept an hour's journey to and from work.

A 60-minute commute to a job in the capital can save you an eye-watering £480,000 on the price of your property, according to Lloyds Bank. That’s a 60% saving on central London house prices.

Average prices in towns such as Crawley, Windsor, Rochester, Peterborough and Oxford, which are about an hour’s train journey away from the capital, are £316,000. This compares to £797,158 for a home in zones one and two.

The huge difference in price would more than cover the annual rail cost of £5,169- in fact it would pay it for 93 years.

Cost of living closer

Even a 40-minute commute could save homebuyers £372,255 (47%), with average prices of £424,903 in Hatfield, Billericay, Orpington and Reading.

And for the sake of of a short 20-minute commute you could still save £299,328 (38%), buying in towns such as Ilford and Elstree.

Andrew Mason, mortgage product director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Considering how far away any potential new home is to your work is often a key factor when buying a new home. While it’s not surprising that homes outside of central London are typically cheaper, the difference is significant.

“Commuting to London is a smart move for those wishing to benefit from the higher wages on offer while buying a cheaper and typically larger home.”

Cheaper city living

Commuters to some of the UK’s major cities face the opposite, with some paying more for property in nearby towns than if they lived in the city.

The average house price in Birmingham is around £181,758, but several towns around 40 minutes away (rail) – Derby, Coventry, Burton on Trent and Leamington Spa – command higher average house prices of £225,353. Commuters from these towns also have to pay £2,261, on average, for a current annual rail pass.

The same applies to a number of towns that are 40 minutes away from Manchester, such as Warrington, Chorley, and Macclesfield, which all have a higher house price (£216,236) than in Britain’s third largest city (£174,972).

North of the border

Rail commuters to Scotland’s two biggest cities are typically financially better off catching the train into the city, according to Bank of Scotland.

House prices in locations just 30 minutes rail travel time from Edinburgh – such as Dunbar, Falkirk and Livingston – are, on average, 36% lower than in the centre of the city. The average house price of £243,200 in Edinburgh is £86,371 higher than a number of commuter towns (£156,829 on average) just 30 minutes away on the train.

House prices for homeowners living 30 minutes outside of Glasgow are 13% lower (£22,000) on average.

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