If you're a homeowner in a commuter town kicking yourself about yet more above-inflation rises to your rail travel costs, your house price might be doing you a favour – as long as you live in the right place.
According to the property listings website Zoopla, commuting homeowners who live in Esher, Surrey, offset their rail costs for getting to work sooner than any other town in the country through the rising value of their property.
The cost of an annual railcard from Esher into London is £2,080. As of December, the average house price in Esher was £1,109,098, a 9.25% rise over the year. At that rate, the cost of an annual rail ticket into London would be recouped by the rising value of the average house in the first 8.1 days of 2017.
In second place was Solihull for commuting into Birmingham. An annual railcard between the two now costs £745. The average property price in Solihull was £377,890 in December after increasing by 8.98% over the year. If that annual growth rate continued into 2017, it would take just 8.75 days to recover the rail ticket in the price of the house, said Zoopla.
"Rising rail fares will have been unwelcome news for commuters heading back to work this week, but our figures may at least soften the blow slightly for those already living in the suburban locations at the top end of the table," said Lawrence Hall, spokesman for Zoopla.
Train fares in Britain increased by an average of 2.3% on 2 January, 2017, though some areas saw bigger rises than others.
Top 10 commuter towns
|Rank||Town||Commuter Route||Average Property Price (December 2016)||Railcard prices 2017||Average Property Price Rise in 2016 (%)||Time taken to pay off ticket cost (days)|
Source: Zoopla, December 2016