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New train fares will wipe off half of mortgage savings

New research from haart, the UK’s leading independent estate agent, analysing property prices around key regional UK commuter hubs to London, reveals that the cost of an annual train season ticket wipes off around half of any mortgage savings.

The research analyses key commuter spots such as Cambridge (coming into King’s Cross St Pancras); Norwich (coming into Liverpool Street); Leamington Spa (coming into Marylebone) among others. The average annual mortgage saving achieved by living around these commuter hubs is £10,799 and the average annual season ticket is £5,160.

The commuter hot-spots for those with their eye to a saving are Southampton (arriving at Waterloo) and Southend (arriving at Liverpool Street). The average mortgage saving when compared to London in Southampton is approximately £12,908 and, with the £4,308 cost of an annual season ticket, the saving is £8,600. The commute from Southampton to London takes around one hour and twenty minutes at peak time in the morning. Another similarly advantageous location is Southend (arriving at Liverpool Street) where the average mortgage saving compared to London is £11,840 and the average season ticket cost is £3,236. This makes for a £8,604 saving, a commute of around one hour and ten minutes – marginally shorter than from Southampton.

Living in Oxford or Cambridge in a property of average price and commuting into London will actually see you out of pocket by £2,132 and £430 respectively due to average property prices surpassing the £350,000 mark and season tickets well in excess of £4,000 per annum. Leamington Spa also offers lower annual savings of £2,043 due to its comparatively high average property price and season ticket price well in excess of £7,000.  The cost of a season ticket is around 78% of the mortgage saving achieved through living in the town.   Paul Smith, CEO at haart, commented: “With the price of an annual season ticket spiralling upward and property prices showing no slow down, young families who are prudent with their money will need to factor in the decreased mortgage payments alongside the increasing cost of commuting.

“Certain towns and cities are already feeling the ‘London effect’, particularly the traditional University towns, so increasing property prices and higher mortgage repayments are insignificant and fail to negate savings through commuting.

“Although by living in regions which are already thriving you will undoubtedly benefit in terms of quality of life, cash savvy commuters may choose to look to locations like Southampton which are more on the up-and-coming side but where you can make a real saving through living out.

“Ultimately, moving regionally may not be as beneficial as you think given that around two thirds of mortgage payment savings are negated by the cost of commuting and you’re stuck with an hour, weather permitting of course, commute to put the cherry on the cake. For a couple who both work regionally the annual cost of travelling in to London could mount up to £10,000, which may ultimately discourage people from moving out.”

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