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Swanley in Kent has been identified as the best performing commuter hotspot for property price growth in Britain, with prices increasing by 10.78 per cent (£36,484) over the past year, according to the latest data from Zoopla. Based on this growth rate, commuters that own a home in the well-connected town could expect to effectively offset their £2.5k annual London rail fare in under a month (25 days).
Zoopla analysed annual property value growth in towns within an hour’s commute of Britain’s 10 largest city centres. This growth was then compared to annual rail card prices to establish how many days it may take to effectively cover the cost of their annual commute.
In second place is Dursley – a town on the outskirts of Bristol - which has seen strong price growth of 9.71 per cent (£26,339) over the past year. Here homeowners could pay off their annual commuting costs within a month (32 days). Bromsgrove is just a half-hour train ride from Birmingham city centre and comes next on the list with 9.61 per cent growth in property prices over the past 12 months (16-day payoff). This is followed by the popular London commuter town of Berkhamsted, which has enjoyed a rise of 9.18 per cent over the past 12 months (23-day payoff), and Blaydon (within easy reach of Newcastle) where the average home has increased in value by 9.09 per cent in the past year (16-day payoff).
The Midlands dominates the rankings, with three commuter towns close to Birmingham in the top 10. In addition to third placed Bromsgrove, the historical town of Atherstone experienced strong growth of 8.26 per cent over the last 12 months (£18,059), which could effectively cover the cost of a season ticket into the city centre in just 40 days. Heading east to the county town of Warwick, properties saw a boost in price to the tune of £28,996 (8.18 per cent) over the past year, which could cover the cost of travel in just 19 days.
Commuter towns in West Yorkshire within easy reach of Leeds also fare well. Homes in Ilkley have risen by 8.52 per cent over the past year (14-day payoff) and homeowners in Bingley have seen values go up by 7.91 per cent (23 days).
The South of England, on the other hand, has not performed as well, with only two of London’s commuter towns featuring in the overall top 10. After Swanley and Berkhamstead, riverside Greenhithe is the next best performing location within commuting distance of the capital, with property price growth of 7.61 per cent (£23,091); effectively covering the cost of an annual travel card within 40 days. Leafy Tonbridge (7.56 per cent, 35 days) and Bexley (7.52 per cent, 22 days) place fourth and fifth respectively.
Lawrence Hall, spokesperson for Zoopla comments:“An easy commute into the office is often very near the top of the property wish list for those looking to move home, and these figures show just how valuable it can be to live within easy reach of a city centre. Towns with good transport links into Birmingham have performed particularly well in 2017 due to continued demand in the region, which offers better value compared to the south of the country.”
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