They say in London that the streets are paved in gold. But what’s the real cost of living in the capital city? And is living in London even worth it? We look at why it might be time to consider leaving the city.
If you still can’t quite bring yourself to make the move, here are five good reasons that might make you change your mind…
It’s no secret that the cost of housing in the capital is higher than elsewhere. According to website Expatistan, London is the fifth most expensive city in Western Europe for renting.
In the city, rents come in at an eye-watering £1,788 per month for 85 square metres of space in an average area. Compare this to £1,090 in Reading (a 41-minute train ride away) or £781 in Peterborough (just over an hour away by train) and it’s tempting to consider relocating elsewhere.
If you’re looking to buy, it’s worth noting that recent figures reveal the average property in London is almost £300,000 higher than the rest of the UK which means moving elsewhere could have major financial benefits.
Living in a thriving metropolis can be a fantastic experience, but it could come at a cost for your health. With London’s air pollution causing increasing concern, moving to a less concentrated urban area could do wonders for your health. As well as having an impact on people with respiratory diseases, pollution is bad news for everyone –the World Health Organisation claims that improvement in air quality could decrease the number of people affected by strokes, heart disease and lung cancer.
With the majority of Londoners preferring public transport to owning a car, it’s likely you will be reliant on buses and trains to get from A to B. While cutting out car ownership can be a financial bonus, unreliable public transport can leave you frustrated. Recent figures published by TFL have shown that bus routes are becoming slower each year, due to “building work and congestion”. Underground trains are often delayed and disrupted too: in fact, between September 2016 and September 2017 there were only five delay-free days on the London underground! Moving away might help you find a more reliable way of travelling.
Cost of living
While individual shopping bills will vary, the cost of your groceries in the capital are likely to be higher overall. For example, a litre of milk in the city could set you back around £0.96, compared to £0.69 in Peterborough – a 28% difference! And with even an afternoon cup of coffee or a trip to the cinema considerably cheaper outside the capital, savings on little luxuries could really mount up.
Pace of life
Looking to slow down? Try getting out of town! According to ONS data, Londoners work 2 hours more per week than the UK average, equating to 100 hours (or 3 working weeks) more per year! Working longer hours takes its toll on health, leisure and family time, and makes the work/life balance for Londoners out of kilter with the rest of the UK.
It’s easy to be dazzled by the bright lights, and the hustle and bustle of life in the capital. But moving elsewhere might make it easier to find balance – both in your life, and in your bank account.
Should I stay or should I go?