If you work in London you’ll know just how expensive living there can be, so like many others you may have considered moving to a commuter town and travelling in each day as a cheaper alternative. Some commuter areas can also be very expensive, so it’s important to find an area which is the right side of London for you, and doesn’t cost the earth in property prices, rent, or travel costs.
Research has found that a town in Essex called Grays has come out as the best value for a commuter town to London. If you live in Grays, you can expect to pay £15,008 every year for mortgage costs as well as a season ticket for commuting. From Grays, it takes 39 minutes to get to Fenchurch Street station which, compared to some commuter locations, is relatively close.
Coming second is Leagrave, costing £15,399.50 and a travel time of 55 minutes to London Blackfriars station. Leagrave is a suburb of Luton.
Third with an annual mortgage and season ticket cost of £15,662.53 was Crayford in Kent. This location to London Bridge takes 41 minutes.
The research discovered that all the cheapest places sit within an hour’s travel time of London. It didn’t only study the capital though, it also looked at other main UK cities: Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Some assumptions had to be made for the research, so the mortgage costs were for a typical 2/3 bedroom home with a 15% deposit. It also included travel times and costs for a 2020 annual railcard, taken from the National Rail website.
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If you’re commuting to Birmingham for work, take a look at Wolverhampton as this ranked first for value. Combined average annual mortgage cost and season ticket for 2020 came out at £7,483.94 with a travel time of just 20 minutes.
Cannock came second costing around £500 more per year, but a large travel time of 59 minutes.
Stoke-On-Trent came third with the lowest average annual mortgage cost of around £5k, but the most expensive season ticket cost of over £3k.
Looking North, the location of best value to commute to Manchester was Hindley with a cost of just under £7k and a commute time of 58 minutes. Second came Wigan with a very similar costing to Hindley of just a few pounds more per year.
Bolton came third with an average yearly cost of just over £7k and a travel time of a reduced 41 minutes.
If you work in Bristol and want to move to a commuter town to keep costs low, consider Newport in Wales. The travel time is just 35 minutes with an annual cost of a little over £10k.
Coming second for Bristol is Highbridge and Burnham at a cost of £11.5k and a travel time of 53 minutes.
If you’re prepared to travel an hour to Bristol, then you could consider Bridgwater which ranked third at a cost of £12k.
If you’re in Scotland and working in Edinburgh, you could spend just £7,530 and 32 minutes commuting every day if you live in Dunfermline. Or, for a cost of only £20 more every year, Falkirk has a travel time of just 24 minutes and ranks second.
Third comes Linlithgow with a longer travel time of 48 minutes and an annual cost of a little over £8k.
What does other research say?
A different survey took into account more factors to find the best commuter city for London. These include average house prices, commute time, new rail fares, distance to good schools, crime rates and the London terminal nearest to the office of work. Based on these, St Albans came top with a travel time of just 21 minutes to St Pancras, high quality of schools, and low crime rates. Second was Redhill, third Reading, fourth Luton, and fifth Three Bridges.
I began writing for Property Press Online in October 2019. Particular areas of interest are housing market news and new developments in the market.