Commuters who spend an hour-long train journey into London are saving around £380,000 on their average house price compared with the cost of living in the heart of the capital, research has found.
Lloyds Bank said that homes within a selection of commuter belt areas which are about a 60 minute commute by train, including Crawley, Windsor, Brighton, Rochester, Peterborough and Oxford, typically cost £260,000, which is £381,000 lower than the average price tag for a property within zones one and two in London, at £641,000.
With the average annual rail cost from these areas currently at just below £5,000, it would take someone 76 years of commuting to wipe out the difference in house prices, if property values and rail costs remained at the same levels .
Commuters who live around half an hour's train journey from London, in places like Hemel Hempstead, Beaconsfield, Woking, Stevenage, Brentwood and Luton, pay £283,000 for a property on average, giving them a typical saving of £358,000 compared with buying somewhere to live in central London. Their annual rail pass is just under £4,000 on average, Lloyds said.
Those with a 15 minute journey into London, such as people travelling in from Borehamwood and East Croydon, benefit from an average house price that is typically £276,000 lower than the central zones in the capital.
People who are prepared for a mammoth commute into London can save even more on house prices. For example, someone commuting from Wolverhampton in the Midlands into London could typically save £484,000 on the price of a property, but they also face a four-hour round trip to work every day and annual commuting costs of over £7,500, Lloyds said.
For those commuting into England's second and third largest cities, Birmingham and Manchester, living further afield does not necessarily pay off financially. Lloyds said the average Birmingham property price is £140,000, whereas Solihull, which is 15 minutes away by train, has a typical property price of almost double this, at, £274,257.
The typical property value in the centre of Manchester is £134,873, which is lower than the average house price in nearby areas such as Stockport, at £192,172, Macclesfield at £231,118, Warrington, at £173,581 and Chorley, at £166,107.