People who work in Scotland’s two biggest cities could save themselves a substantial amount of money when buying a house if they are prepared to commute around half an hour to work.
Significantly Lower House Prices
This is the finding of new research by Bank of Scotland, which revealed that property in towns approximately 30 minutes away from Edinburgh by train, such as Dunbar, Falkirk and Livingston, are 36% lower on average 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. Traveling 30 minutes to work by train will cost an average of £1,700 per annum.
Even towns up to 60 minutes away (such as Dunblane, Kirkcaldy and Motherwell) have an average house price (£166,502) that is £76,700 lower than the capital. The hour long commute comes with an average annual rail cost of around £2,060.
Popular commuter towns for Glasgow with a journey time of around 30 minutes, such as Linlithgow, Stirling, Greenock and Motherwell, also benefit from house prices that are, on average, £22,086 (13%) lower – with an average price of £148,614 compared to almost £171,000 in Glasgow. This compares with an average annual rail pass costing close to £1,863.
Aberdeen’s Commuter Towns more Expensive
Unlike Edinburgh and Glasgow, workers in Aberdeen may actually be better of living in the city itself, with a shorter journey to work and also lower house prices. The average house price in Aberdeen is close to £195,234, while property in towns around 30 minutes away by train, such as Inverurie and Insch, are, on average, 21% more expensive, and a rail pass will cost £1,828 per year.
Workers in London have to commute for around an hour to make significant gains in property prices, but those who are prepared to do so can save an average of 60%.
House prices in a selection of towns about an hour’s train journey away from the capital (including Crawley, Windsor, Rochester, Peterborough and Oxford) are, on average, around £316,000, which is £480,858 lower than the average of £797,158 for a property within travelcard zones 1 and 2. This is also significantly lower (£199,778) than the average property price in zones 3 to 6.
The difference between house prices for commuters travelling approximately 60 minutes would apparently pay for the current annual rail cost (£5,169) for 93 years.
Homebuyers looking to buy a home in a town approximately 40 minutes away from central London (including Hatfield, Billericay, Orpington and Reading), will pay an average price of £424,903; still £372,255 (47%) lower than in zones 1 and 2 – and with a lower average annual rail pass costing £3,615.
The difference of £372,255 would pay for the current annual rail cost for nearly 103 years.
Distance to Work a Key Consideration
“Considering how far away any potential new home is to your work is often a key factor when buying a new home,” commented Andrew Mason, mortgage product director at Lloyds Bank. “Whilst it’s not surprising that homes outside of central London are typically cheaper, the difference is significant.”
“What’s interesting is that the exact opposite can be said for the UK’s other two largest cities, Birmingham and Manchester, where it costs more to live outside of the city and make the commute,” he added.
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