Rail Season Ticket Prices Rise as House Prices Fall
Commuter towns hit by the transport cost increase
Following years of booming property values, towns that fall within the London commuter belt such as Reading, Basingstoke, Woking, and Winchester are now being hit by a drastic drop in house prices.
Many inhabitants are ex-Londoners who moved further out to escape the eye-watering costs of the capital’s property market and, ironically, they’re now struggling to sell.
Blame has been laid at the feet of the ever-rising cost of rail season tickets which are set to increase by up to 3.6%*, adding hundreds of pounds to the yearly price. Not only that, but commuters have been warned that they are essentially ‘paying more for less’ with fewer than half of passengers feeling that the transport is value for money.
The ongoing and well-publicised issues with Southern Rail have also not done anything to increase commuter trust in the rail system. Many will feel that this price hike is a kick in the teeth having been flooded with reports of train delays causing issues with job performance and family life alike. As a result, commuters have reported that they are less likely to depend on public transport or rely on this as a means of getting to work when considering where to buy their property.
With this in mind, it’s not difficult to see how these smaller towns are losing their appeal when it comes to purchasing a property. With the extra cost of train fares, many first-time buyers are once again turning their attention back to the capital.
Reading in Berkshire has been hit particularly hard by this increase. Just 26 minutes from Paddington this vibrant town has long been the first choice for commuters looking for a more affordable housing option and convenient transport into London. However, the percentage of homes with price cuts has recently risen from 22% to 44%.*
With increases like these, the gap between commuter town prices and London living has considerably narrowed, with properties further outside of London becoming less and less affordable. The newest batch of buyers who have been priced out of the capital may well have to look even further afield than ever before.
*Statistics courtesy of The Office for National Statistics
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