Workers in Edinburgh could save around £82,000 by commuting to the city rather than living there, according to new analysis.
Research by the Bank of Scotland found the difference in house prices between the capital and locations approximately an hour away would be enough to pay for the current annual rail cost (£2,299) for 35 years.
The study also suggests the most affordable commuter town to Edinburgh is Kirkcaldy, where the average house price is £133,589.
This is 3.2 times the average annual earnings for Edinburgh, compared to 4.4 times the average wage for those working within Kirkcaldy (£30,560).
For Glasgow, the most affordable commuter town is Greenock which sees average house prices of £114,108, 3.6 times the average annual earnings for Glasgow.
Homes in places including Dunblane, Glasgow, Motherwell, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy cost £170,927 on average – £82,088 lower than the average price in Edinburgh city centre (£253,015).
A 30-minute commute could save homebuyers £80,671, with the average price for a home in places such as North Berwick, Dunbar, Livingston, Falkirk and Bathgate at £172,345.
In contrast, it is more expensive to have a longer commute to Glasgow.
A 15-minute commute from a town such as Paisley would see homebuyers paying £124,319, 29 per cent less than the average house price in Glasgow city centre (£174,688).
An hour commute from areas including Edinburgh, Perth and Dumfries pushes house prices up to £227,525, 30 per cent (£52,837) higher than in the city centre.
Graham Blair, the bank’s mortgages director, said that house buyers should consider the long-term benefits of getting on and climbing the property ladder away the more high-profile cities.
“Many people have a desire to buy near their place of work to escape the morning commute.
“However, for some towns and cities, the premium this comes with can price out the average buyer.
“With savings of £80,000 to be gained an hour outside of Edinburgh, and £50,000 just 15 minutes from Glasgow, it is an attractive pull for any potential purchaser to look further afield.”
Mr Blair added: “However, the decision to commute is not simply a trade-off between financial costs and journey times as quality of life is an important consideration. Family circumstances, schools, physical environment and value for money all come into the balance.”