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One hour commute could save £450,000 on house price

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Moving an hour outside of London could cut the cost of property by £450,000, research by Lloyds Bank has found.

The bank said the average price in the heart of London was £722,000 but fell to £272,000 in commuter towns an hour outside of the capital.

Even with spending on rail fares of £4,944, the lower property prices would still represent a huge saving.

Popular towns in the one hour commuter zone include Crawley, Newbury, Colchester and Chatham.

Moving closer, locations within a 40 minute commute of London include Reading, Stevenage, Sidcup and Billericay. However, the average price in these locations is £349,000.

For cities other than London it may pay to stay in a central location, with prices in the country more expensive. The average house price in Birmingham is around £162,000, but several towns around 40 minutes away – including Walsall, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Burton on Trent and Leamington Spa – command higher average house prices. Manchester commuter towns such as Warrington, Chorley, Huddersfield and Macclesfield also command higher prices than the city itself.

Andrew Mason, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: “It’s no surprise, for London at least, that the further you commute the larger the difference in house prices – though, of course, the journey also gets longer and more expensive.

“The decision to commute is not simply a trade-off between financial costs and journey times. Quality of life is an important consideration and in nearly all towns in this survey housing affordability is significantly better with a London salary compared to what can be earned locally.

“For commuters with up to an hour’s journey to central London, the reward is an annual salary that is, on average, 22%, or £8,500, higher than what they could earn in their place of residence – which is close to £38,500. In the ten most affordable commuter towns the uplift in annual earnings by working in London is nearly £13,000.”

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