Rail fares in England and Wales will increase by 3.6% in January next year, the biggest annual rise in five years, meaning the Capital’s commuters are facing greater rail expense than ever before.

The rise, which is set by the government and linked to July’s retail price index (RPI) measure of inflation was announced by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday, means that the average annual London rail ticket will increase by £146.

The announcement follows hot-on-the-heels of the Office of National Statistics’, UK House Price Index, which will perhaps soften the blow of increased rail fares to key UK cities given that house prices in the UK have increased overall by 4.9% in the 12 months since June 2016.

Lack in supply keeps property prices high

It has long been the holy grail for those needing to work in London to find an affordable house close enough to commute to the capital. An annual rail ticket is a big investment, but one, based on the UK House Price Index findings, would appear to still be worth making.

Houses in the South East of England increased in value by 4.9% between June 2016 to June 2017, with the average price of a house in the South East now £320,000. While the East of England experienced even greater growth of 7.2% during the same period with the average cost of a house now £287,000.

Investors in up-and-coming commuter belt towns such as Ashford, Brentwood, Colchester and Guilford still benefit from their property investment despite the unprecedented increase in rail fares for 2018.

Sources: Office of National Statistics, UK House Price Index