Research carried out by estate agent Jackson-Stops has revealed that Luton is London’s number one commuter town.
Based on a range of factors – including annual house price growth, train reliability, speed of journey and house prices – Jackson-Stops calculated the best places for London commuters to live.
The analysis found that Luton was in top spot, closely followed by Dorking in Surrey. Meanwhile, three locations were tied in joint third, namely Slough, Weybridge and Tonbridge.
Despite being named by Reddit users as the ‘worst place to live in the UK’ last year, Luton scores much more highly as a commuter hotspot thanks to its relatively affordable homes, fast transport links (24 minutes to London), low parking costs and efficient trains.
In addition to offering commuters a guaranteed seat in the morning rush hour, Luton has also seen house prices increase substantially in the last year, up by 10% annually (or £23,000), which is well above the national average.
This increase in equity helps commuters to comfortably cover the cost of an annual season ticket to London, which – at £5,256 – is one of the pricier around.
The rest of the top 10 was made up by Woking, Basildon, Reading, Chelmsford, Redhill and Oxford, which all scored well for train operator performance, parking costs, journey times to the capital and annual increases in house prices.
“Commuters to London are going to be feeling the strain of their annual rail fare in 2018, with the 3.4% average increase in price outstripping wage growth for many,” Nick Leeming, Chairman at Jackson-Stops, said. “For those moving within the London commuter belt, and families moving out of central London, location will be key.”
He added: “Luton has prevailed, shaking off the reputation perpetuated by that 1970s Campari advert. The Bedfordshire town benefits from fast and frequent trains into the heart of London, comparatively low house prices and strong levels of annual price growth.”