Home Inspiration Blog The price/travel trade off: achieving the perfect balance between affordability and commute times

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The price/travel trade off: achieving the perfect balance between affordability and commute times

By Katie Hendra

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It will come as no surprise to Londoners that there is a clear trade-off between property prices and commute time, but how far is too far to travel to get the best value for money?

In The London Report we look at the numbers behind the idea that the further your commute, the more affordable your property. Coming very near the top of buyers’ and tenants’ wish lists will always be a convenient commute. In London the definition of ‘convenient’ will generally mean as short as possible, and with the fewest number of bus, train or tube changes. Understanding where the sweet spot between commuting time and affordability lies is crucial for knowing where to focus a property search.

We looked at where people live in relation to their work now versus in 2015, which showed that 6% fewer people now live within 5 miles of their place of work. Expanding transport links and the development of new residential areas, which is explored further on in The London Report by our New Homes and Build to Rent directors, play a clear part in this.

In order to fully appreciate the relationship between property prices and commute times, we’ve mapped out the discount achieved in £ per square foot achieved in relation to journey time into central London.

Our research shows that homes with a journey time of 25 – 30 minutes to central London sold, on average, for £681 per square foot in 2019, half the amount paid for the most central properties. Looking at the balance between price discounts and commuting time, as well as drawing from our extensive experience in the London Property market, we understand the ‘sweet spot’ of price vs travel time to be 45 minutes, after which the length of the commute starts to outweigh the benefit of a more affordable property.

To search for your next home by commute time using our specific commute time search function, just enter the postcode of your office, and how far you're willing to travel, plus any other requirements.

If you’re looking to explore a new area of London, or you’re looking to sell or let your current property, get in touch to find out how we match buyers and tenants to their ideal home, wherever it may be in London.

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