Homeowners Could be Better Off Commuting to London by Plane than Buying in the Capital
By |Published On: 10th October 2016|

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Homeowners Could be Better Off Commuting to London by Plane than Buying in the Capital

By |Published On: 10th October 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

Homeowners living in some cities around the UK could be better off commuting to London for work by plane, rather than buying in the capital, according to the latest research by online estate agent eMoov.co.uk.

Low-cost domestic air travel in the UK makes it cheaper to fly than catch a train to some cities, but it could actually be cheaper to fly to London than live in the capital’s sky-high housing market.

eMoov analysed eight cities outside of London with direct flight paths to the capital, finding that seven of them offered an annual mortgage saving when homeowners commute by plane.

The agent compared the average house price between the capital and other short-haul destinations in the UK with a direct service to London. It then calculated the total cost of a weekly commute – flying on the Monday morning and returning on the Friday evening – plus four nights’ accommodation (either at or close to the relevant airport) when booked six months in advance.

eMoov then divided the number of working days in 2017 (252 minus 22 days’ holiday) by five, to find the number of working weeks in the year (46), before multiplying the cost of weekly travel and accommodation by this figure.

Finally, it worked out the average mortgage cost after deposit and the annual payment for both London and the other locations, subtracting the cost of travel and accommodation from the difference, showing which cities homeowners would be better off living in and commuting to the capital by plane, rather than buying in London.

Homeowners Could be Better Off Commuting to London by Plane than Buying in the Capital

Homeowners Could be Better Off Commuting to London by Plane than Buying in the Capital

The city offering the greatest annual mortgage saving was Glasgow. With an average house price of just £155,195, the annual mortgage saving compared to London is £21,275. The cost of a weekly round-trip to London is just £52.98 via Ryanair for an 80-minute flight, with accommodation taking the total to just £204.98 per week, or £9,429 a year. It would take 47 years of travelling at this cost before the difference between the average house price in London and Glasgow was bridged. When taking travel and accommodation costs into account, homeowners in Glasgow would still be £11,845 better off a year.

Despite its troubled past, Belfast is fast becoming a go-to city for culture and tourism, and offers the second cheapest option for commuters flying into London. A year’s worth of travel and accommodation would set you back just over £8,000, while the annual mortgage saving falls just short of £20,000 when compared with London, resulting in an annual saving of £11,547 for another 80-minute flight into the capital.

Manchester is the best option for those wanting to remain in England, and is the third biggest saving across all eight cities researched. At £162,970, it is home to the second lowest average house price, while a BA flight takes you to Heathrow in just 65 minutes. Travel and accommodation would cost £12,334 per year – when subtracted from the annual mortgage saving, homeowners in Manchester would save £8,564 a year.

A similar commute from Leeds could result in an annual saving of £7,670 for homeowners in the Yorkshire city, where travel and accommodation would cost £12,150 a year.

Although the flight times from Newcastle and Edinburgh are slightly longer, at 85 minutes each, homeowners opting to spend less on property and commute to London by plane could save over £7,000 per year in both cities.

The city offering the lowest saving is Newquay, where the average house price is £240,164. Commuting by plane to the capital would result in an annual mortgage saving of £5,498, meaning it is possible to surf at the weekend and work in London during the week!

There was just one city out of eight outside of London where homeowners would be worse off by commuting by plane. With an average house price of £259,221, the cost of a mortgage after deposit in Exeter is £233,298. When compared to London, the annual mortgage saving is £16,234.

However, the return flight from Exeter to London City Airport is the second most expensive of the eight cities (£115), while the cost of staying around the airport is also the most expensive of the lot (£320 per week). As a result, the total cost hits £20,055 per year, cancelling out the mortgage saving and making Exeter homeowners £3,820 worse off.

The Founder and CEO of eMoov, Russell Quirk, comments: “With London property prices continuing to push aspirational buyers further and further out of the capital, there’s no telling where we might be in ten years’ time in terms of the commute people will consider if prices continue to climb from the inside out.

“Luckily, the increasing improvement of transport infrastructure across the nation has made commuting larger distances more manageable. We’re not saying commuting by plane is an option for everyone, and there are other time requirements to consider in terms of checking in on time. However, as with all new commutes, you soon adapt, and if it was a choice between 80 minutes stuck on the Central Line at rush hour, five hours on a train from Cornwall, or an hour or so gliding through the clouds, I know which one I would pick.”

He continues: “When you also consider that you could live in the likes of Glasgow or Manchester, where the cost of living and buying is dramatically lower, but still earn a London wage, it seems even more attractive. Couple this with the fact that many companies may even foot the travel or accommodation costs, and the savings continue to rise.

“Not only this, but the continuing innovation of technology is helping to improve almost every area of industry and allows many to work remotely, meaning that the standard nine-to-five isn’t always spent in the office, with many working from home every other week. So surfing on the coast of Cornwall at the weekend whilst working in London during the week could very well be viable.”

Would you rather commute to the capital by plane than buy into London’s sky-high housing market?

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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