Local commuters are counting travel costs

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Wiganers are losing out financially because of soaring rail tickets combined with a slowdown in the price of houses in the local market.

In some areas, rising house prices could “earn” home-owners enough to cover the cost of their annual rail fare in as little as eight days, according to analysis by a property website.

Zoopla compared property price growth in popular commuter towns across Britain over the past 12 months with the cost of an annual train ticket.

It identified Esher in Surrey as the place where rising house prices would match the cost of an annual commute the quickest, for home owners commuting from there to London, but in Wigan it would take 44 days for those who commute to Manchester and 71 to Liverpool.

House prices in Esher increased by around £256 per day across 2016 on average. If this trend continues into 2017, the growth in the average property price in Esher would match the cost of an annual commute to London at £2,080 in just over eight days, according to Zoopla’s calculations.

Solihull in the West Midlands was named as the next most likely commuter hotspot for house price growth to be quickest to match the annual cost of a rail ticket.

House prices in Solihull increased by £85 per day on average in 2016. This would cover the annual cost of yearly travel to Birmingham, at £745, in around nine days.

Researchers carrying out the survey calculated that home owners in Penarth in South Wales will see the growth in their property value match the cost of an annual commute to Cardiff at £516 just 12 days into 2017.

Looking just at the North of England, Stockport was identified as the best-performing commuter town, with house price growth there expected to match the £792 yearly rail fare to Manchester in 15 days.

At the other end of the spectrum, those commuting from Greenock to Glasgow in Scotland face the longest wait for rising house prices to pay off the cost of their travel, among the areas looked at

If house prices keep rising at current levels, the wait could be nearly a full year, at nearly 329 days, according to the calculations.

Lawrence Hall, a spokesman for Zoopla, said that while rising rail fares will have been unwelcome for commuters heading back to work in the New Year, “our figures may at least soften the blow slightly for those already living in the suburban locations at the top end of the table”.

Here are the top 10 commuter hotspots where house price growth could be quickest to match the annual cost of home owners’ 2017 rail travel, according to calculations, with the number of days it is expected to take (figures have been rounded):

1. Esher to London, eight days

2. Solihull to Birmingham, nine days

3. Penarth to Cardiff, 12 days

4. Stourbridge to Birmingham, 12 days

5. Surbiton to London, 14 days

6. Tandridge to London, 14 days

7. Stockport to Manchester, 15 days

8. Rotherham to Sheffield, 15 days

9. Yatton to Bristol, 16 days

10. Chippenham to Bristol, 17 days

Here are the 10 commuter areas where house price growth is expected to be slowest to match annual rail card prices in 2017, according to Zoopla, followed by the number of days it is expected to take:

1. Greenock to Glasgow, 329 days

2. Loughborough to Nottingham, 233 days

3. Stirling to Glasgow, 232 days

4. Lanark to Glasgow, 220 days

5. Rochdale to Manchester, 110 days

6. Pontefract to Leeds, 97 days

7. Falkirk to Edinburgh, 92 days

8. Mansfield to Nottingham, 83 days

9. Kilmarnock to Glasgow, 77 days

10. Livingston to Edinburgh, 74 days

Here is how quickly house prices in commuter towns surrounding major cities are expected to match commuter costs to those major cities:

Manchester: Stockport, 15 days, Macclesfield, 25 days, Bolton, 30 days, Oldham, 31 days, Wigan, 44 days, Warrington, 46 days, Preston, 58 days, St Helens, 69 days, Rochdale, 110 days.

Redditch, 32 days.

Liverpool: St Helens, 30 days, Chester, 32 days, Southport, 39 days, Warrington, 41 days, Wigan, 71 days