Bank of Scotland

A 30 MINUTE COMMUTE CAN SAVE SAVVY HOMEOWNERS £86,000

30 October 2017

  • House prices for homeowners living 30 minutes outside of Edinburgh are 36% lower (£86,371) on average

  • House prices for homeowners living 30 minutes outside of Glasgow are 13% lower (£22,000) on average

  • On average 30 minutes commute sees the biggest saving, apart from Aberdeen where you need to travel an average of 60 minutes

Rail commuters to Scotland’s two biggest cities are typically financially better off catching the train into the city than living close to their place of work, according to new research by Bank of Scotland

House prices in places just 30 minutes rail travel time from Edinburgh - such as Dunbar, Falkirk and Livingston - are, on average, 36% lower than in the centre of the city. The average house price of £243,200 in Edinburgh is £86,371 higher than a number of commuter towns (£156,829 on average) just 30 minutes away on the train. This compares with the average £1,700 annual cost of a half-hour commute to the capital.

Even towns up to 60 minutes away (such as Dunblane, Kirkcaldy and Motherwell) have an average house price of £166,502 - that is £76,700 lower than the capital. The hour long commute comes with an average annual rail cost of around £2,060 (See Table 1)

Commuters who live around 30 minutes rail travel time from Glasgow - such as those in Linlithgow, Stirling, Greenock and Motherwell - benefit from house prices that are, on average, £22,086 (13%) lower – with an average price of £148,614 compared to almost £171,000 in Glasgow. This compares with an average annual rail pass costing close to £1,863.  The difference in property prices may, however, be outweighed by the rail travel costs if someone commutes for more than 12 years. (See Table 2)

On the other hand for those commuting from some towns approximately 60 minutes away from Glasgow - such as Lockerbie, Ayr and Perth - have an average house price of £216,683 that is £46,000 (27%) higher than in Glasgow (£170,700). Coupled with a longer journey and an annual rail pass costing £3,155, many of these commuters might be financially better off living closer to their place of work.

City living proves cheaper for commuters to Aberdeen

Living in the city of Aberdeen has benefits, not only will your commute be reduced but so will your house price. The average house price in Aberdeen is close to £195,234, and commuters with a rail journey of approximately thirty minutes away in Inverurie and Insch, houses are, on average, 21% more expensive than in the Granite City – whilst a rail pass will cost £1,828 per year. (See Table 3)

Graham Blair, Mortgages Director at Bank of Scotland said:

"Distance from work is often one of the deciding factors for purchasing a home. It is generally true that a thirty minute commute can provide a large financial saving in terms of lower house prices. This is the case with most towns surrounding Edinburgh and Glasgow, but not Aberdeen where you need to commute around an hour to benefit from lower house prices.

"A major consideration for commuting to leading cities, such as these, is that the typically higher income that can be earned tends to go much further in surrounding towns.”

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