If you live in the UK outside the M25 and have aspirations to live ‘on the other side’, then you know what you have to do; either start selling internal organs, or be prepared to downsize to a shoebox.
Flippancy aside, the average cost of a home in London is more than 14 times the average UK earnings. Yes, there are a few cities and towns in the UK that have similarly-priced homes such as Oxford, Cambridge and Bath, but for many home buyers an average cost of £482,000 remains totally out of reach. But how about our European friends? What do they get for their money if they move to our capital (even with Brexit happening)? Using comparison figures from Numbeo shows what we probably all know already…
The cost of living in France is not cheap; in fact, it’s worse than London when you take everything into consideration. And according to the la Chambre des Notaires de Paris, apartment prices in Paris continue to rise, reaching €8,100 per sq-metre by mid-2016. But the average for London is currently €15,278 for the same, equating to just over €2,500 at current prices, which means Parisians are limited for choice if they move to London.
According to Numbeo, the average cost of a square metre of property (apartment) in Berlin is £3,742.51 – the equivalent in London is an eye-watering £15,278, a brutal difference of more than 75%. Rent prices in London are a whopping 163% higher than in the German capital, while groceries and restaurant prices are also considerably higher.
Thinking of moving from Scotland to London? Be warned that you’ll need to drag a hefty bag of cash down with you. Rent and apartments are both massively more expensive in London – a square metre there would cost nearly 400% more than in Edinburgh, while rent is at least slightly more palatable – that’s only 142.8% more expensive for one bed in the city centre. That said, at least groceries are cheaper.
Again, London is much pricier than Madrid. The cost of a square metre of property in Madrid is £3,559, compared to £15,278 in our capital. That differential drops slightly for an apartment outside the centre (272% difference, compared to 329%) but is still pretty horrific. Generally, consumer prices in London are 35% higher, rent prices are 145% higher and restaurant prices are 46.95%. It’s not good.
Scandinavia is renowned for being expensive, and the Numbeo stats certainly back this up for food and drink; a beer is £3.32 more pricey in Oslo than London, and milk is nearly double the price. However, property prices are again dwarfed: a square metre of apartment space in Oslo will set you back £6,554, about £8,500 cheaper than in London.
So London, unsurprisingly, deserves its reputation for expensive living. As a final illustration into what you can get for your Euros, take a look at this Buzzfeed pictorial. It will either make you smile for our European brethren, or lament London.