Workers in Edinburgh could save around £82,000 by commuting to the Capital rather than living here, according to new analysis.
Research by the Bank of Scotland found the difference in house prices between the city and locations around an hour away would be enough to pay for the current annual rail cost (£2,299) for 35 years.
Homes in sites 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.
This saving would pay for the current annual cost of commuting by rail for 45 years.
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.
The study suggests Kirkcaldy is the most affordable town to live in for those travelling to Edinburgh, 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 commuters, Greenock offers the best value for money with house prices averaging around £114,108, 3.6 times the average annual earnings for workers living in Glasgow.
Graham Blair, mortgages director at Bank of Scotland, said: “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.”
He added: “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.”
For Edinburgh commuters, other towns that offered value for money included Motherwell, where house prices average at £140,229, Falkirk where properties cost £145,067 on average and Dunfermline, where houses cost around £162,719.