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Willingness to Commute can Reduce Housing Costs

New research has revealed that rail commuters to Scotland’s two biggest cities are typically financially better off catching the train into the city than living close to their place of work.

According to the study by Bank of Scotland, house prices in towns just 30 minutes rail travel time from Edinburgh - such as Dunbar, Falkirk and Livingston - are, on average, 36% lower than in the centre of the city. The average house price of £243,200 in Edinburgh is £86,371 higher than a number of commuter towns (£156,829 on average) just 30 minutes away on the train. This compares with the average £1,700 annual cost of a half-hour commute to the capital.
 
Commuters who live around 30 minutes rail travel time from Glasgow - such as those in Linlithgow, Stirling, Greenock and Motherwell - benefit from house prices that are, on average, £22,086 (13%) lower – with an average price of £148,614 compared to almost £171,000 in Glasgow. This compares with an average annual rail pass costing close to £1,863.  However, Bank of Scotland highlights that the difference in property prices may be outweighed by the rail travel costs if someone commutes for more than 12 years.
 
"Distance from work is often one of the deciding factors for purchasing a home,” said Graham Blair, Mortgages Director at Bank of Scotland. “It is generally true that a thirty minute commute can provide a large financial saving in terms of lower house prices. This is the case with most towns surrounding Edinburgh and Glasgow, but not Aberdeen where you need to commute around an hour to benefit from lower house prices.”
 
"A major consideration for commuting to leading cities, such as these, is that the typically higher income that can be earned tends to go much further in surrounding towns,” he added.
 

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