In Manchester, for the price of £223,000, you can buy a two-bedroom flat, right in the city centre, in the hub of culture, coolness and creativity.
But when it comes to London, the story is slightly different – a similar figure would see you affording a pokey, one-bedroom flat right in the outskirts of England’s capital (and even then, that’s a maybe).
The snow would like to settle in London but the house prices make it pretty much impossible.
— AdamWestbrook (@AdamWestbrook) December 10, 2017
London house prices are now a record 14.5 times more than average earnings. However, as any London-dweller will tell you, it’s not just house prices that they’re getting stung on.
If you were expecting to then read: “they overpay on everything” then you’d be right; London is more expensive from shower gel to hotels, from meal deals to clothes.
But this isn’t an article version of the world’s smallest violin for Londoners, after all, it’s no secret that the Queen’s home is the very definition of extortionate – you knew what you were getting into when you wanted to get involved.
Ultimately, though, and any Londoner will tell you, if you can afford to do it, then do it. But just be prepared to say goodbye to savings and the very idea of ‘saving’ in the first place.
For all the bulking at paying north of a fiver for a beer, or being unable to get a lunch for less than £10, there’s one area that residents of London can feel rightly aggrieved by.
The price of travel.
No other capital city in the world either a) punishes you for living outside of it but working within it or b) wanting to live within it.
Just over 50% more expensive to want to see all of London’s sights in one day, than it is to see the delights of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre-Dame de Paris.
With those London workers who crave a bit of fresh air, longer life and all round better health – i.e. by basically living outside of Zones 1-9 – they’re stitched up by the rail companies, who offer for the annual 3% price hike, a shoddy service of delays, cancelations and overcrowding – a wonderful representation of a British society where the rich are encouraged to get richer and the poor are, well, encouraged to get poorer.
As always with such comparisons, mainland Europe offers an almost utopian insight into what it should be like for Brits – for example, the very concept of owning a home before the age of 50 is very much a British mentality and ideology. However, Europeans are more than happy to rent and never owning their own property (again, though, that’s probably to do with rent being as much as a mortgage in the UK).
Just imagine how much better off you’d be if travelling around London for a 30-day month cost you less than £40 – £38.10, to be precise – and that’s assuming you’re working every day of the month! Because if the capital of Romania, Bucharest, was your home, then you could afford to buy lunch every day!
Of course, the big wigs in London that make the decisions over transport and its pricing strategy will point towards the fact that the United Kingdom is a world leader in economy, and quality of life is perhaps (at least perceived to be) ahead of most of Europe.
And that’s all well good, until you realise that Russia – the country with the joint-cheapest one-off journey across one of its major cities, Saint Petersburg – has the fourth highest GDP in Europe (the UK isn’t far ahead of it in third).
But the average monthly salary of a Russian is just £327.33.
So, holding workers who rely on London’s public transport to get around to extortionate and unjustified fees is having absolutely no significant benefit on the economy.
Sounds like Putin isn’t that bad of an egg, after all…