Our guide to house price growth vs commute cost

Our guide to house price growth vs commute cost

If you’re up to speed with the latest property news, then you’ll be aware of how rapidly house prices are increasing in certain areas, driven by an imbalance between demand and supply of available housing.

According to figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, at the end of 2015, the average national property price was £290,000 – some £20,000 higher than the year before.

Several locations are witnessing high property demand, and consequent high price rises, many of which are in the ever-widening commuter belt.

Property portal Zoopla has revealed that in some cases, a property may have witnessed such a high price rise, that it's able to pay for its owner's annual rail season ticket in just seven days.

Solihull in the Midlands tops the list – across 2015 house prices here increased by almost 11% to an average of £341,000, which equates to an increase of £95 each day.

With the average annual commute cost from Solihull to Birmingham costing around £655, this means that homeowners would have paid off their annual rail fare in just a week's worth of house price rises.

Those living in South-East commuter-belt areas would also be able to offset their commuter costs quickly as house prices in this region have also performed strongly.

Surbiton, an area not far away from Kingston-Upon-Thames, was near the top of the table.

Homeowners travelling from Surbiton to London would be able to pay off their annual rail fare in just 11 days, according to Zoopla.  

Surbiton has become a particularly popular location for young professionals to settle as it is just a 20 minute commute from the capital; yet property here is much more affordable than in Central London locations.

House prices also increased rapidly in Epsom during 2015. This leafy Surrey area is only a 40 minute commute into the capital, and although rail fares are set to increase by at least 1% in 2016, the report suggests house price growth will cover the average owner's annual commute into the capital in just 17 days.

Looking further north, it seems it will take a little longer for property owners to earn back their commuting costs in terms of house price growth.

The report suggests that in Dunfermline owners who commute to Edinburgh will need to work 155 days – over five months – before the rising cost of their property will pay off the annual commuting costs.

Meanwhile, those travelling from Falkirk to Edinburgh will have to work slightly less – 144 days – to pay off commute costs.

These findings demonstrate just how much property values have been increasing in commuter areas; great news for those considering selling property in these locations.

What's more, house price growth in commuter areas in the south is set to intensify further with the introduction of Crossrail in 2019. And, over the next decade, High Speed 2 – known widely as HS2 – will have a positive impact on house prices in a number of commuter locations up and down the country.

Ultimately, whether you’re considering buying or selling property, location clearly remains an all-important factor and can make a massive difference to the eventual sale price of a home.