There’s a way you can keep working in London while saving an absolute fortune on the cost of buying a home – but it comes at a price of a different kind.
Anyone willing to give up their exciting life in the capital and put up with a two-hour daily commute could cut the price of owning a property by nearly £450,000, according to research.
Towns from where commuting to central London takes an hour each way per day have an average house price of £294,903, compared to £741,919 for the luxury of being close to work in the city, Lloyds Bank has found.
The difference is a saving of just over £447,000 - or around 60 per cent.
Even when taking into account the typical annual rail cost for a one-hour daily journey each way at £4,989, a commuter would have to make the same journey for 89 years to wipe out the benefit in house prices, Lloyds says.
Wellingborough in Northamptonshire is identified as being the most affordable commuter town, where the average house price of £183,345 is 4.1 times the average annual earnings for central London workers.
Peterborough in Cambridgeshire is the next most affordable town, with the average house price there costing 4.2 times the typical annual earnings in travel zones one and two in London, at £189,319.
Kettering in Northamptonshire, Chatham and Sittingbourne in Kent, Swindon in Wiltshire, Luton in Bedfordshire, Southend in Essex and Rugby in Warwickshire are also identified as particularly affordable areas for commuters into central London.
The potential saving from living outside the capital does not apply everywhere, with Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross and Harpenden three examples of where London commuters end up paying more to live.
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Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said: "Commuters to London who don't mind a longer journey between home and work could reap the financial benefits of living outside of the capital.
"However, the decision of whether to live in the city or further away is not simply a trade-off between financial costs and journey times. Quality of life is also a major factor: family circumstances, better schools, physical environment and homes that offer better value for money also come into the equation.
"That explains why, especially outside London, commuters are often prepared to pay a premium to commute when they could be better off in purely financial terms living closer to their place of work."