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The commuter towns where rent and travel costs are squeezing tenant affordability

Leading room share platform, ideal flatmate, has looked at where tenants are paying some of the most unaffordable commuting rental costs based on the ever-increasing cost of traveling by train coupled with the high cost of renting and where has seen the biggest increase in these costs over the last year.

ideal flatmate looked 45 commuter towns and the cost of an annual travelcard when commuting to six major cities, the cost of a year’s rent in these commuter towns, which was home to the highest and which had seen the largest increase over the last year.

The highest currently? Oxford to London, with an annual travelcard costing £5,256 and the annual rent currently £1,366, totaling £21,648. This is despite rents in Oxford having dropped by £432 over the last year, with train tickets up £159 over the same period.

Commuting towns heading into London account for the top five most expensive with Guildford (£20,768), Brighton (£20,468), Cambridge (£19,808) and Woking (£18,816) all home to extensive rental and commuting costs. While rents in Brighton and Guildford have both dropped on a year on year basis, tenants in Cambridge and Woking have not only seen them increase, but also the cost of travel.

Bath is the only commuter town outside of the capital to make the top 10, with the average travelcard into Bristol costing £1,688 and the annual rent sitting at £15,456, totaling £17,144, the highest outside of London by some way.

Looking elsewhere, Harrogate is the most expensive commuter option to Leeds, with an annual total of £11,836. Rugby is the least affordable option when commuting into Birmingham at £11,496, while Macclesfield is the least tenant-friendly option into Manchester at a total cost of £11,460.

Finally, traveling into Liverpool is the most expensive when doing so from Warrington with a total cost of £9,192 when combining commuting and rental costs.

But while these are the most expensive, it is York that has seen the biggest financial squeeze placed on tenants over the last year, with the cost of traveling into Leeds increasing £1,716, largely as a result of a rental increase, although train tickets have also increased.

Canterbury (+£928) and Woking (+£459) have also seen rental affordability for those commuting into London reduce dramatically in the space of a year. Swindon has seen the biggest increase for commuting into Bristol (+£272), New Brighton (+£250) into Liverpool, Rugby (+£186) into Birmingham and Rochdale (+£180) into Manchester.

Co-founder of ideal flatmate, Tom Gatzen, commented:

“For many, the financial burden of renting is made all the worse by the additional costs of traveling to and from their place of work and with travel fares continuing to climb, this squeeze on affordability is only getting worse.

To think that in the space of a year, the combined cost of renting and traveling has increased by as much as a thousand pounds in some places is quite crazy and highlights the tough task facing many of us when it comes to getting by.

The only silver lining is that rent and travel within these major cities would set you back even further.”

Commuter Town/City
Major City
Travel time
Average 2019 Ticket Price
Annual Change
Annual Rent 2019
Annual Change
Total
Total Annual Change
Oxford
London
57mins
£5,256
£159
£16,392
-£432
£21,648
-£273
Guildford
London
37mins
£3,812
£190
£16,956
-£636
£20,768
-£446
Brighton
London
60mins
£4,844
£145
£15,624
-£756
£20,468
-£611
Cambridge
London
53mins
£5,108
£156
£14,700
£12
£19,808
£168
Woking
London
28mins
£3,348
£99
£15,468
£360
£18,816
£459
Bath
Bristol
17mins
£1,688
£51
£15,456
-£384
£17,144
-£333
Milton Keynes
London
35mins
£5,372
£163
£11,712
£108
£17,084
£271
Bracknell
London
55mins
£4,604
£141
£12,252
£144
£16,856
£285
High Wycombe
London
34mins
£3,668
£108
£13,116
-£336
£16,784
-£228
Reading
London
28mins
£4,604
£141
£12,120
-£24
£16,724
£117
Brentwood
London
38mins
£2,756
£83
£13,668
-£108
£16,424
-£25
Canterbury
London
55mins
£5,584
£172
£10,476
£756
£16,060
£928
Crawley
London
40mins
£3,816
£115
£11,880
£84
£15,696
£199
Southampton
London
76mins
£5,880
£178
£9,516
£60
£15,396
£238
Aylesbury
London
59mins
£4,188
£127
£11,016
£156
£15,204
£283
Ashford
London
36mins
£5,544
£165
£9,564
£168
£15,108
£333
Colchester
London
53mins
£5,264
£159
£9,756
£24
£15,020
£183
York
Leeds
23mins
£2,384
£72
£12,408
£1,644
£14,792
£1,716
Slough
London
17mins
£2,712
£81
£11,928
£240
£14,640
£321
Eastbourne
London
90mins
£4,900
£64
£9,264
£204
£14,164
£268
Luton
London
23mins
£4,308
£131
£9,792
-£12
£14,100
£119
Gillingham
London
41mins
£4,252
£125
£9,456
£228
£13,708
£353
Westbury
Bristol
43mins
£2,404
£71
£9,744
-£216
£12,148
-£145
Swindon
Bristol
24mins
£3,556
£104
£8,376
£168
£11,932
£272
Chippenham
Bristol
28mins
£2,128
£60
£9,744
-£216
£11,872
-£156
Harrogate
Leeds
32mins
£1,672
£31
£10,164
£132
£11,836
£163
Rugby
Birmingham
36mins
£3,024
£90
£8,472
£96
£11,496
£186
Macclesfield
Manchester
25mins
£2,628
£55
£8,832
-£228
£11,460
-£173
Burton upon Trent
Birmingham
27mins
£2,954
£86
£7,236
£60
£10,190
£146
Stockport
Manchester
11mins
£924
£25
£8,724
£12
£9,648
£37
Stafford
Birmingham
34mins
£1,928
£55
£7,416
£60
£9,344
£115
Altrincham
Manchester
29mins
£1,072
£28
£8,172
£60
£9,244
£88
Warrington
Liverpool
25mins
£1,596
£30
£7,596
£0
£9,192
£30
Newport (Wales)
Bristol
20mins
£2,696
£77
£6,463
£0
£9,159
£77
Nuneaton
Birmingham
43mins
£2,022
£62
£6,948
£0
£8,970
£62
Kidderminster
Birmingham
39mins
£1,220
£35
£7,188
£132
£8,408
£167
Runcorn
Liverpool
20mins
£1,632
£45
£6,540
£24
£8,172
£69
Southport
Liverpool
45mins
£1,169
£36
£6,936
£204
£8,105
£240
Bolton
Manchester
19mins
£1,052
£28
£6,996
-£60
£8,048
-£32
Widnes
Liverpool
27mins
£1,352
£26
£6,540
£24
£7,892
£50
Huddersfield
Leeds
21mins
£1,408
£36
£6,480
£132
£7,888
£168
Bradford
Leeds
19mins
£1,084
£31
£6,360
-£48
£7,444
-£17
Rochdale
Manchester
20mins
£1,192
£36
£6,180
£144
£7,372
£180
Halifax
Leeds
36mins
£1,168
£33
£6,180
£24
£7,348
£57
New Brighton
Liverpool
21mins
£723
£22
£6,600
£228
£7,323
£250

 

Sources
Private rent
Train fare increases
Season tickets

 

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