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to think you have to be either rich or poor to live in London?

(196 Posts)
manicinsomniac Sun 25-May-14 11:14:25

After another fantastic day in London yesterday I'm in one of regular 'boo hoo hoo, I want to live in London and I'll never be able to' moods.

Please tell me it's possible. Is there anybody in the middle income bracket living there?? (I know logically there must be!) Please tell me how you do it!!

I'm a single parent of 3 children and earn too much to get HB or WTC. There's no way I could pay more than 800 in rent and I'd need a 3 bed house in order not to be squashing my children in for my own selfish reasons (I'd put us all in a 1 bed to be in London if they weren't actual real people!! wink )

Ugh, it sounds even worse written down - it's not going to happen is it sad

Maybe if I save for a deposit to buy a London house instead of a reasonably priced one then I can eventually become a cool child-free Granny living it up in the capital! grin

I'm mainly just on a bit of a lighthearted but totally jealous of all you Londoners rant but, on a serious note - is there a danger of our capital city becoming completely out of reach to the majority? Has it happened already?

Most people I know who live there are either very wealthy or single people in houseshares

TheSarcasticFringehead Sun 25-May-14 11:17:11

I have relatives who live there (and I lived there in the past, not helpful how though), earning £25k so around average, two DC, live in Redbridge, so not a well known place but they're in London and have a rented home.

SqueezedMiddle Sun 25-May-14 11:20:19

No, you wont find a 3 bed house for 800 a month in London, I'm afraid. I live in a far northern suburb of London and that wouldnt get you a one bed flat for miles around.

There are lots of middle income people living in London. But they arent living to the same standard as people in cheaper parts of the country. Most families I know that have a 3 bed house in London are both working full time and either paying huge mortgages or have had help from parent or bought in. London years ago and have benefited from rising house prices.

Many, many average Londoners live in flats with no garden, in 'cheaper' suburbs of the city.

It is a terrifically difficult place to 'get a foot on the ladder'. Rent is also very high. Many Londoners are there because they love it, but many more are there because they HAVE to be - its where the work is - and are struggling to make ends meet or living a very different lifestyle to what other normal working and middle class people are in other parts of the UK.

sillymillyb Sun 25-May-14 11:21:20

I used to live there pre children.... If it makes you feel better I hated it?! Great to visit, not so great to live there!

I paid £700 for a room in a house all inclusive of bills. Would you consider a bit further out so your money goes further but you can visit or work there daily?

SqueezedMiddle Sun 25-May-14 11:21:57

I'm not being a killjoy, btw. I'm a Londoner and would never leave. Love the place. But being realistic, its a very expensive place to live.

NigellasDealer Sun 25-May-14 11:22:22

Redbridge is in Essex.
yes there are middle income people topped up by HB and WFTC or there are working people who live in social housing contrary to popular opinion but they were allocated flats ten or fifteen years ago, or there are people who bought places before it went crazy. there are even people who live in reasonably priced private rents beleive it or not,
Recently I nearly took a job there but what would happen when the children turn 18 and the HB and WFTC disappeared?

SqueezedMiddle Sun 25-May-14 11:24:33

And yes, it is already out of reach to many in terms of buying. I hVe friends earning 70k that cannot get a mortgage, couples earning combined income of 150k who struggle with their mortgage. Friends have recently moved out - to Amersham (on Metropolitan line), Croydon, Kent - and commute because they simply cannot afford London house prices.

WorraLiberty Sun 25-May-14 11:25:01

I live in one of the cheaper London boroughs that's actually Essex and you still couldn't get a 3 bed round here for £800 per month.

I was very lucky in that I bought my house (3 bed ex council semi) in 1995 as my mortgage costs less per month than some bedsits do.

I really don't think my kids are going to be able to stay in the area though when they grow up, unless something drastically changes.

WorraLiberty Sun 25-May-14 11:26:05

Redbridge is in Essex but it's a London borough

roulade Sun 25-May-14 11:27:10

Redbridge is essex and London. The addresses are Essex but it is the London Borough of Redbridge.

roulade Sun 25-May-14 11:27:24

x post

NigellasDealer Sun 25-May-14 11:28:21

well whatever you want to call it it is hardly the swinging metropolis is it?

NigellasDealer Sun 25-May-14 11:28:57

(speakiing as a child of the london suburbs)

Laquitar Sun 25-May-14 11:29:11

We are not rich and we are not on benefits either.

We bought many years ago, house is very simple one not a period house, it was a wreck and it is zone 5. So our mortgage is not as big as i read here.

We take packed lunches at work, buy cheap clothes etc. We still struggle but we manage. Luckily we are not intoexpensive clothes, beauty treatments etc.

Geraldthegiraffe Sun 25-May-14 11:31:05

No. We had to move out. Dodgy flat zone 6 900 quid a month. We simply couldn't afgord it.

manicinsomniac Sun 25-May-14 11:31:25

Squeezedmiddle - yeah, I know it's unrealistic! And yes, that makes sense about the middle income people seeming poor by the time they've paid for their tiny accommodation. Ugh, it's ridiculous. Wonder if the housing market will change any time soon?!

sillymilly - a lot of people tell me they hate/d it. I can't imagine I would but I suppose I could tell myself that. And I really don't have a bad deal, I live within easy reach of London and can go just to see a friend for the evening, go to the theatre, for one specific activity etc. I'm really very lucky, just whining about not having it all!!

Nigellas - surely there's a cut off for HB etc though? You can't just have it because your salary won't rent you a London place when it will comfortably rent you one outside London can you? I might look into that but I seriously doubt I'd qualify.

RoseHoney Sun 25-May-14 11:31:30

I used to live on the outskirts of London and a 3 bed house was still well over 1k.
Although, you would probably be entitled to HB as the rent prices are considerably more than you're paying now.

We moved out of London as it was just too expensive hmm

Geraldthegiraffe Sun 25-May-14 11:31:59

Yes I think people need to have bought a while ago when it was a lot cheaper.

SqueezedMiddle Sun 25-May-14 11:32:32

There is no way we would be able to buy, or even to rent, in our area now if we hadn't had fortunate circumstances (bought in Hackney in the 90s when nobody wanted to live there, sold at the height of the market, moved to a suburb where our money went further etc).

A one bed flat is minimum 900 a month where I am. Thats Zone 4, and far from the swinging metropolis, too!

Jellybellymummyofsix Sun 25-May-14 11:33:13

London is a great place to visit but not a great to live in especially if you have dc. I'm the last person in my family left in London... I would leave in the morning if my circumstances allowed.

I grew up in London but hate it!

manicinsomniac Sun 25-May-14 11:33:39

worra and laquitar - oh yes, of course, I forgot about those who would have bought in the 90s. I guess that accounts for a lot of people.

FidelineandFumblin Sun 25-May-14 11:34:27

There are tonnes of us middling income people in London BUT thinking of the people we know they are mainly dual income households (£50-£100k pa household income - so some of them starting to creep into the well off bracket now) and they all either a) bought their houses/flats in the 90s or b) bought shared ownership or c) qualified for social housing at a grim moment in their lives (often single parent homeless after a split) a long time ago when the housing lists were shorter and stayed put.

Personally I am a massive Shared ownership fan (depending on the scheme- some are complete rip offs) but you often need a 'local connection' to qualify, usually working or already living in the borough.

TucsonGirl Sun 25-May-14 11:35:21

I don't see the point of living in London and having to penny pinch when you could live elsewhere and have things much easier.

FidelineandFumblin Sun 25-May-14 11:36:08

Oh massive X post blush. As always...

Viviennemary Sun 25-May-14 11:36:58

This certainly seems to be the case in certain areas. I suppose the exception would be middle income people who bought their houses a long time ago.

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