The season of festive cheer will come to an abrupt end for many today as commuters across the country return to work and see their rail fairs rise.
Fares will be on average 3.1 per cent more expensive, adding in some cases hundreds of pounds to annual travel costs.
London workers who live on the outer edges of the capital’s commuter belt could even see their annual fares rise by as much as £200.
With this in mind online mortgage broker Trussle has crunched the numbers to rank the most affordable towns for those looking to commute into London.
Train fares will rise by an average 3.1 per cent today, adding hundreds of pounds to annual bills
Trussle analysed house prices, mortgage payments, commute times and rail season ticket costs across more than 300 towns within a 75-minute journey of central London.
To calculate monthly mortgage payments, the broker took the average property price in each area and used a calculator to find out what a first-time buyer with an 85 per cent loan-to-value two-year fixed 25-year mortgage at a rate of 2.14 per cent would pay.
It then used data from the Office for National Statistics to figure out how much the duration of each commute would cost the average London worker.
Once house prices, monthly payments, rail costs and travel time were added together, the broker then created a league table of the most affordable towns.
|Town||Average property price||Monthly train cost||Commuting time (minutes)|
Apsley in Hertfordshire tops the list thanks to low house prices and short commuting time, while Oxshott ranks lowest due to its £1.7million average property price.
Taking second place is the town of Ebbsfleet in Kent, which offers a short commute to London of just 36 minutes, while average property prices are also low at just £243,000.
In third place is the town of Tilbury in Essex, which benefits from a reasonably priced annual season ticket, at £2,448, or £204 a month.
The list comes as rail fares are hiked up by 3.1 per cent across the UK, adding significant cost to those traveling from the outer edges of London’s commuter belt, in some cases by more than £200 a year.
Ishaan Malhi, founder and chief executive of Trussle, said: ‘House prices in London are unaffordable for a lot of people, so it’s little wonder that so many workers choose to commute from areas where they can get more for their money.
‘This often comes at the price of hefty rail fares, and with the rise in transport costs, it’s important homeowners are taking this into consideration as they look to move house.’
Bottom of the list was the Surrey village of Oxshott, thanks to an average property price of £1.7million.
Virginia Water is the second least affordable location on the list, due to an average property price of £1.2million and a hefty 87-minute daily commute to and from London Waterloo.
Ishaan Malhi, chief executive of Trussle
Capital Gains may also tempt home buyers
A cheaper property may not stay cheap forever, and this is especially the case in commuter towns.
Last year property search engine Zoopla found that property prices in Swanley, Kent, increased by 10.78 per cent or £36,484 over the course of a year.
This means that with an annual rail season ticket to London costing around £2,500, it would take Swanley commuters just 25 days worth of house price growth to cover the cost of their annual train ticket.
And those willing to live one hour away from central London can save almost 60 per cent on the price of buying a house.
Homeowners living 60 minutes outside of the City, including those in Basingstoke, Crawley, Gravesend, Windsor and Northampton, pay on average £483,342 less for a property than one of the same size in central London.
This difference would be enough to pay an average annual rail season ticket from those locations of £5,381 for 90 years.
Even commuters who live 20 minutes away, in areas including New Cross and East Croydon, can expect to spend an average £295,075 less than the same property in the centre.
>> Click here to download the full list of affordable commuter towns
>> Click here to find our top five tips for saving money on your commute