The area around Gatwick Airport has been identified as 2020’s most affordable London commuter town, in a list created by online mortgage broker Trussle.
This comes as rail fares go up by 2.7% across the UK today, pushing annual season tickets up by more than £280 for those commuting from the outer edges of London’s commuter belt.
The analysis looked at house prices, typical mortgage costs and rail season tickets in 350 towns within a 75-minute direct rail journey of central London. This was used to rank the best-value commuting towns and the least affordable locations.
Homes in the Gatwick Airport area, which is first in the list, are currently valued at an average of £172,148 — almost £300,000 below the average London house price of £472,000.
While aircraft noise may be an issue, the “excellent” transport links mean a round-trip commute to central London of just 70 minutes at peak-times.
An annual season ticket now costs £3,336, which means a total monthly mortgage and travel cost of just £830.29.
For those who want to avoid living so close to an international airport, the riverside Essex town of Tilbury may appeal.
With an average house price of £243,714, a round-trip commute to central London of 82 minutes, and an annual season ticket cost of £2,516 the total monthly cost works out at £991.56.
The most expensive commuter town is the Surrey town of Oxshott, well known for being popular amongst Premier League footballers.
A round-trip commute of just 70 minutes and an annual season ticket cost of £2,552 might help to explain the area’s popularity. However, an average property price of £1.92m gives a total monthly cost of £6,375.
Commuters living in the market town of Chippenham face the most expensive annual season ticket at £10,312 and a total round-trip commute of 122 minutes. With average house prices of £346,927 commuters face a total travel and mortgage monthly cost of £1,972.
Those living in Swindon face a 99-minute round trip commute and pay £772.67 per month for an annual rail season ticket.
This is just £65 less than the town’s average monthly mortgage payment of £838 — based on the average house price of £261,262. This equates to a total monthly cost of £1,610.
Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at Trussle said: “While many may choose to live outside London for a better quality of life, others look to the commuter belt to get more for their money.
“The reality is that despite the slowdown in the capital’s house prices, buying the perfect home in London is out of reach for many. However, for those considering moving out of London, it’s crucial that they take into account the cost of getting into the city for work.
“With some annual season tickets costing more than £10,000, it’s worth doing proper research to see both how long the commute is and how much it will cost.”
The 10 most affordable commuter areas in London
Gawtick Airport (£830.29)
East Tilbury (£1,108.56)
Slade Green (£1,116.34)