How your commute could affect your property options

business travel with face masks

It’s a factor that many of us haven’t had to think about for a while, with so many people in Scotland working from home over the past year and avoiding public transport. But now as we all start returning to office life, if you’re considering moving home then your commute could be a big deciding factor when it comes to the location of your new home.

If you’re searching in the big three cities in Scotland, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, then you shouldn’t have too much issue with public transport as they’re all known for having great links whether that’s the train, bus or motorways for those driving. For those commuting into these areas, then Greenock, Motherwell and Paisley are great for Glasgow; Livingston, Falkirk and North Berwick are great for Edinburgh and Arbroath is good for Aberdeen.

However, there are a variety of other factors to take into consideration when you’re looking to relocate to locations with great transport links.

High value

You may find that the bigger city locations come with a higher selling price, especially if you’re looking to buy or rent smack bang in the middle of the city centre. The closer you are to the best restaurants, bars, shops and tourist hotspots then the higher the price tag. So if you work in these big cities then you may want to look at the outskirts for somewhere cheaper but with great transport links.

For example, the average house price in Glasgow is £222,698 but in North Lanarkshire the average price is £165,553, saving you 25%. It’s a similar picture for Edinburgh, with the average house price at £330,747 but looking a bit further afield to West Lothian, house prices drop by 35%.

Plus, with the current mortgage guarantee scheme offering 95% mortgages, you could be looking at a deposit of just £10,749 to secure a home in West Lothian. All these savings could be put towards your commuting costs.

Long days

Another potential downside to commuter life is a longer working day, due to the fact you have to leave home earlier and inevitably arrive home later from work. But with many workplaces putting new flexible hours into place due to Covid restrictions then you could possibly arrange your travel around quieter travel times.

On the upside, if you’re not averse to taking public transport, and if you can get a seat, you could get a head start on your day by working on the train or catching up on your favourite new book or podcast. If you’re anxious about travelling so soon, having your favourite music or book with you might ease your mind a bit too.

More for your money

So we know that moving further out of the city into a commuter town will cost you less in property price, but what does that get you in terms of property size? Well, it normally means you get more for your money. For example, if you love traditional properties like tenement flats, then you could bag yourself a 2-bedroom flat in Paisley for less than £100,000 but if you move further into the city centre of Glasgow and the West End then you can expect to pay almost double for the same style of flat. But for less than £200,000 you could bag a 3-bedroom detached house in Motherwell and Greenock, including a garden.

Going further north to Arbroath, 3-bedroom homes start from around £200,000 but you could pay the same price for a 2-bedroom flat in Aberdeen city centre.

So, looking further afield can definitely be worth your time and money.

Travel costs

If you’re considering adding to your commuting distance by moving further out of the city to take advantage of the lower property prices, then you also need to weigh up the increase in your travel costs. It was reported that last year the annual train ticket between Glasgow and Edinburgh increased by £116 and ticket prices continue to increase each year. But with petrol prices in the UK at an eight-year high, the bus or train could be the cheaper option for you and force you to leave the car at home. Although, if you are under 22 then there’s good news coming with a date set by Transport Scotland for free bus travel beginning on the 31st January next year. In addition to free bus travel schemes for older and disabled people, this new initiative means that a third of the population in Scotland will be entitled to free transport of some sort. But will the rest of the population take on these extra savings with further increases to their travel? Only time will tell.


If you’re looking to make your next property move and search for the best new properties to buy or rent in Scotland, then visit today.

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