For many people, London is the place to be when it comes to big city living, however there is one pesky factor that tends to get in the way of many people moving, staying and settling in the capital – money.
We all know it costs more to live in London, but how much more? As of December 2020, house prices in the capital sat at an average of £496,066 – more or less double the nationwide average. Rental prices for new tenancies sit at over £1,500 a month, meanwhile the median monthly rent for the rest of England was £700 last summer.
So, when it comes to London living prices, take the nationwide average and double it to get an idea of how much something will cost. Daunting stuff for the average earner, but there are ways to live in London while managing these financial hurdles.
Stay away from central
London is an awfully big place with a rich and diverse living scene, with some areas most definitely more affluent and demanding cost wise than others.
Like any other city, central house prices are a step up from those found in the outer regions, but as with everything else in London, those central house prices are inflated way beyond normal expectation. Rightmove reckons the average property price for Central London this last year was a cool £1.69m.
So yeah, perhaps best you start looking on the outskirts, unless you’re Elon Musk.
Look at your finance options
Particularly if you’re looking to get onto the property ladder in the capital, the likelihood is you’ll need some financial help in getting that deposit together. For some, that means visiting the bank of mum and dad to seek additional funds, for others it could be seeking out a 5% mortgage or some additional source of income.
Understanding your financial options heading into living in London is key to defining where you can and can’t set up base. We’d recommend looking into something like an equity release to find out where you really stand with your money.
Don’t get too wrapped up in “London living”
One of the main reasons people want to live in London is to live the “London life” – generally regarded as fast-paced, highly cultured and burning the candle at both ends – but living that lifestyle costs plenty of money, especially in £6-a-pint-London. So, before you go and indulge in the plethora of fancy restaurants, bars, arts and entertainment the capital has to offer, you’d better check you can afford to do so.
Consider all your options
To make the dream of living in London a reality, wannabe homeowners with limited capital have begun to look into alternate methods of ownership in the city. While buying your own home in London is undoubtedly the goal, there are multiple, more manageable ways to get on the property ladder in London for those who can’t afford a solo purchase.
Look into shared ownership, help to buy schemes and the “first dibs for Londoners” scheme – all of which can help make living in London a more accessible and affordable prospect.
With sky high house and rental prices coupled with higher-than-average day-to-day costs, living in London will never be considered cheap, but it can be affordable if you approach it in the right manner. Be smart with the locations you’re looking at within the city, get a grip on your finances and be sensible with your lifestyle and you’ll be able to enjoy the capital for as long as you see fit.