Home owners who work in London can save £3,000 on a property for every minute of commuting outside of the UK’s capital city.
New research from real estate firm Savills that looked at 100,000 house sales recorded around 314 stations on the outskirts of the capital found how prices rise as addresses edge closer to the city.
It found that for each minute less spent on the train into central London, buyers should expect to pay a further £3,048 to secure the property.
The average house price in inner London is £606,000, but by comparison, commuter locations within half an hour’s train ride from London have an average property price of £458,000. Further out the average price is just £337,000 for those with a journey time between 60 and 69 minutes.
The most expensive place to buy at the furthest reasonable distance from the city, said to be 60 to 69 minutes commute, was close to Shelford station in Cambridge where the average house price is £622,451.
In contrast, homes near Southend Central in Essex which is also just over an hour from London tended to sell for around £188,000, suggesting buyers pay not just for journey time but location too.
Moving just 10 minutes closer to London results in a huge difference in price. In Sunningdale in Berkshire, for example, where the train takes 50 to 59 minutes, the average family home costs £930,000.
Cutting another 10 minutes off the commute to work brings in Shiplake station in Oxfordshire where houses last year changed hands for around £1 million.
The research report points out that house prices in London are currently 2.3 times the UK average, the largest differential since records began in 1973, according to data from the Nationwide.
This has led many households currently living in the capital to face a choice of accepting a twice daily train journey, commuting costs and hassle in return for more affordable house prices and lifestyle benefits.
Of course, any house price savings must be set against the cost of commuting. An annual rail and underground season ticket now costs from £2,400 to nearly £10,000, depending on length of journey and rail provider. Despite this, savings on house prices will more often than not outweigh the travel costs.