Wellingborough in Northamptonshire has been revealed as the most affordable commuter town for people working in London.
The average house price of £183,000 is more than four times the average annual earnings for someone working in central London (£45,000) - making it easier for buyers with small deposits to get a mortgage.
The research reveals that London workers willing to move to one of the ten most affordable areas within an hour’s commute from the city could save as much as £450,000 on the cost of their home.
The list is dominated by towns made up of high rises and the concrete 1960s architecture developed as a result of post-war ‘New Towns’ legislation designed to mop up population overspill. Areas like Swindon and Luton, which are changing rapidly and undergoing hundreds of millions of pounds of regeneration, remain "affordable" and are within an hour’s journey from the city.
While commuters will have to fork out between £2,000 and £8,000 annually on rail fare, they would need to make the same journey for 89 years to wipe out the benefit in house prices.
Peterborough might regularly be among lists of “ugliest places to live in Britain”, but the Cambridgeshire cathedral town is rapidly changing. It is the second-most affordable place to live for London commuters with an average house price of £189,000 – but your annual travel pass will cost nearly £7,500.
“The decision of whether to live in the city or further away is not simply a trade-off between financial costs and journey times. Quality of life is also a major factor: family circumstances, better schools, physical environment and homes that offer better value for money also come into the equation,” said Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank Mortgage Products Director.
“That explains why, especially outside London, commuters are often prepared to pay a premium to commute when they could be better off in purely financial terms living closer to their place of work.”