In the past it has traditionally been a wise move to choose to live in a commuter town rather than the city in which you work, especially with regard to those who work in the capital. However, the increasing cost of travelling, especially by rail, is having a definite effect as commuters find they may not, in fact, save money by choosing a satellite town.
Looking at London specifically, estate agent Haart has produced a report suggesting that commuters may be somewhat out of pocket if they choose to live in, say, the time-honoured commuter outposts of Oxford or Cambridge. With train fares rising by almost three percent in the latest round of increases the figures make interesting reading.
It has been found that the average commuter who chooses to live in Cambridge, for example, may save as much as £3730 on the yearly cost of a mortgage; however, a season ticket for rail travel is now £4160 – greater than the intended saving. This is relatively slight compared to Oxford, where the commuter may find they are £2000 out of pocket over a year.
However, Oxford and Cambridge are popular places that are party to relatively high property prices; commuters who choose Southend, in Essex, for example, will likely pay half as much as in London for their home, and will therefore save a great deal. Other popular commuter hotspots – Southampton, Grantham, Aylesbury and Rugby among them – may see the commuter saving as much as £7000 a year thanks to the decision not to live in London.
It is all about making the right decision and, while it may seem that buying a house is now more expensive than ever, in fact it may not be relatively so – see this article for example. For those who desire the bright lights of spectacular Oxford and Cambridge the choice is more difficult, but surely those who look to the more mundane yet less costly alternatives are the one making the right decision? Meanwhile, it is worth looking carefully at rail ticket prices to and from different locations, for it may be the difference between a small or a great saving.