Rising house prices 'cover rail fare rise in eight days'

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.

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.

Zoopla also 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 by Zoopla.

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".

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