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Could rising property prices cover the cost of your commute?

9th January 2017

  • Rising property values in Esher could pay for an annual rail fare in just eight days
  • Top locations for property value rises covering the cost of a rail card also include Solihull, Penarth and Stourbridge
  • Glasgow’s Greenock, Lanark and Stirling amongst bottom five on the list
  • Rising British property prices could earn homeowners enough to pay for their annual rail fare in as little as eight days, according to Zoopla. The property website has revealed how long it takes for homes to increase in value enough to cover their residents’ annual commuting costs, which have risen again as of the 2nd January 2017.

    Zoopla compared property price growth in some of Britain’s most popular commuter towns over the past 12 months to the cost of an annual train ticket* and found that homeowners in Esher (Surrey), who commute into London, fare best. The average property in the town increased in value by £256.66 a day, to £1,109,098 (up 9.25 per cent) over the past year, meaning that – if values rise at a similar rate over the coming 12 months - the growing value of their property could cover the cost of an annual £2,080 commute to London in just over eight days.

    Property owners in commuter hotspots in the West Midlands might also do particularly well. In Solihull, commuters pay £745 for their yearly train travel into Birmingham; with property prices increasing on average by £31,149 (8.98 per cent) in 2016 (£85.11 per day) to £377,890, homes in the town could cover the travel cost in just under nine days. Nearby Stourbridge also features in the top five most cost-effective commuter hotspots, with prices rising on average by £22,526 (9.24 per cent) in 2016. The daily value increase of £61.55 would pay off the £745 yearly rail card to Birmingham in only 12 days.

    Aside from Esher, many other commuter belt hotspots for those working in the capital are among the quickest locations to pay off rail fares. Price rises in Surbiton, Surrey, pay off the yearly rail fare of £1,852 in just under a fortnight, as do properties in the neighbouring Surrey town of Tandridge.

    Despite boasting cheaper rail fares, lower house price rises in Northern England and Scotland could mean a longer wait to pay off the cost of an annual train fare for homeowners in these regions. Stockport is the best performing commuter town in the north, thanks to property price increases of 8.46 per cent (£19,588) in 2016, which would pay off the £792 yearly rail fare to Manchester in just over two weeks (15 days). Musselburgh takes the top spot in Scotland, with property price rises eclipsing the £664 yearly rail fare to Edinburgh in a little over 18 days. However, property owners in Greenock, Glasgow face the longest wait, taking almost a full year (328 days) to pay off their annual travel.

    The top 10 commuter hotspots where residents could be the quickest to pay off their 2017 travel are (from 2nd January when new fares came into effect):

    1. Esher to London - 8 days (January 9th)
    2. Solihull to Birmingham – 9 days (January 10th)
    3. Penarth to Cardiff – 12 days (January 13th)
    4. Stourbridge to Birmingham – 12 days (January 13th)
    5. Surbiton to London - 14 days (January 15th)
    6. Tandridge to London – 14 days (January 15th)
    7. Stockport to Manchester – 15 days (January 16th)
    8. Rotherham to Sheffield – 15 days (January 16th)
    9. Yatton to Bristol – 16 days (January 17th)
    10. Chippenham to Bristol – 17 days (January 18th)

    Lawrence Hall, spokesperson for Zoopla comments: “Rising rail fares will have been unwelcome news for commuters heading back to work this week, but our figures may at least soften the blow slightly for those already living in the suburban locations at the top end of the table.”

    Top 10 commuter towns

    Rank Town Commuter Route Average Property Price (December 2016) Rail card prices 2017 Average Property Price Rise in 2016 (%) Time taken to pay off ticket cost (days)
    1 Esher London £1,109,098 £2,080.00 9.25 8.10
    2 Solihull Birmingham £377,890 £745 8.98 8.75
    3 Penarth Cardiff £304,569 £516.00 5.52 11.86
    4 Stourbridge Birmingham £266,193 £745 9.24 12.10
    5 Surbiton London £599,075 £1,852.00 8.83 13.95
    6 Tandridge London £708,225 £1,820.00 7.20 14.00
    7 Stockport Manchester £251,257 £792.00 8.46 14.80
    8 Rotherham Sheffield £146,841 £532.00 9.40 15.43
    9 Yatton Bristol £338,239 £1,476.00 11.20 15.86
    10 Chippenham Bristol £337,245 £1,996.00 14.14 17.49

    Bottom 10 commuter towns

    Rank Town Commuter Route Average Property Price (December 2016) Rail card prices 2017 Average Property Price Rise in 2016 (%) Time taken to pay off ticket cost (days)
    1 Greenock Glasgow £137,342 £1,564.00 1.28 328.60
    2 Loughborough Nottingham £236,639 £1,356.00 0.91 233.11
    3 Stirling Glasgow £188,856 £2,084.00 1.77 231.63
    4 Lanark Glasgow £148,278 £1,732.00 1.98 219.73
    5 Rochdale Manchester £147,042 £1,116.00 2.58 110.48
    6  Pontefract Leeds £177,685 £1,012.00 2.20 96.73
    7 Falkirk Edinburgh £143,713 £2,072.00 6.06 92.30
    8 Mansfield Nottingham £145,743 £1,124.00 3.51 83.21
    9 Kilmarnock Glasgow £145,720 £1,632.00 5.64 76.82
    10 Livingston Edinburgh £168,197 £1,516.00 4.64 74.38
    Source: Zoopla, January 2017

    - Ends -

    For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at or on 020 3872 5615.

    Notes to editors

    Zoopla is the UK's most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering users with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help consumers both find their next home and research the market by combining hundreds of thousands of property listings with market data, local information and community tools.

    At Zoopla we are fans of transparency and everything we do is aimed at making the market more efficient for both property consumers and advertisers alike. Zoopla has rapidly become the UK’s leading online destination for property consumers to search for homes and do their market research and the favoured online marketing partner for UK estate agents, letting agents and property developers.

    Launched in 2008, Zoopla has since been one of the fastest growing websites in the UK, now attracting over 40 million visits per month and we are proud to have collected numerous awards and accolades along the way, including being named one of the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and one of the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta).

    Zoopla is part of Zoopla Limited which was founded in 2007.

    Zoopla Limited, The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH
    Registered in England and Wales with Company No. 09005884
    VAT Registration number: 191 2231 33
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