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To wonder how ordinary people can afford to live in London?

240 replies

Rhine · 13/08/2015 21:50

By ordinary people I mean those of us who aren't millionaires, oligarchs and trustafarians. Obviously there must be ordinary people living there, but how on earth do they afford it? To buy there is eye watteringly expensive, so I suppose they must all be in rentals but then the rental prices are bad enough.

To get things in perspective you could probably get a five bed detached with land attached for the price of a small one bed flat in central London.

Pardon my igorance on this matter but it's always baffled me. Where do all the taxi drivers, shop workers, hotel staff, police, fire personnel, doctors, nurses etc live? Do they live in social housing, or are they miles out and commute in every morning?

It's a bit hard for a small town girl like me to get my head around.

OP posts:
limitedperiodonly · 17/08/2015 08:38

universal Grin

A Spanish friend got a job through an agency serving at a cafe at a London airport. He was thrilled until he realised just where London Stansted is.

ElkeDagMeisje · 17/08/2015 08:46

Well, in answer to the OP, much like I lived in other cities. Rented a room in a shared house initially within good commuting distance of the centre, in my case Forrest Hill. Friends with similar jobs live in places like Crystal Palace and FH as well as closer in towards central London. Although to be honest, I always had an inkling to live out as far as Epping. Then I bought a studio flat needing a bit of renovation. I guess I would have struggled if I didn't work, had children young and wanted to live in a family sized home in central London.

Howcanitbe · 17/08/2015 08:48

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RedDaisyRed · 17/08/2015 09:18

How, there is virtually no social housing for anyone in London unless they wait a very long time, probably tolerate time in a very run down bed and breakfast and also have children with urgent needs to be housed etc.

Yes, we make the big adaptations to be in London which are sacrifices many others will not make which is why we can get a bit cross when people think we have all had it really easy because we can afford to live in London (however we define London - I am not in London on some defintions above which is fine - I am not in a competition over it and happy with where I live in outer London).

FreudiansSlipper · 17/08/2015 09:22

I think there is a lot of housing association places being built, not enough. Lewisham has changed dramatically over the last 18 months so many new flats being built many are housing association

fourtothedozen · 17/08/2015 09:23

I'm not sure why anyone would choose to live in London.

RedDaisyRed · 17/08/2015 09:25

Each to their own. I like this bit of outer London which seems to have the best of all worlds. My daughters live further in. Pros and cons to both. I think I have a better life here than had I stayed in the NE of England.

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 09:25

because it is a big city full of life and jobs and opportunities?

FreudiansSlipper · 17/08/2015 09:26

Because it has so much to offer fourtothedozen

Not everyone likes city life but if you do well it's all in London

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 09:27

also, fourtohedozen , weirdly , some people come from London?

fourtothedozen · 17/08/2015 09:28

London is not the only city in the UK.

Howcanitbe · 17/08/2015 09:30

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Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 09:30

" London is not the only city in the UK. "

what is this, state the blinking obvious time?
It is the only city that offers that amount of opportunity.

fourtothedozen · 17/08/2015 09:32

It is the only city that offers that amount of opportunity.

How much "opportunity" does one person need?

I live close to my capital city- it has lower unemployment rates than London.

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 09:34

well then that is good for you fourtothedozen - as you are so happy with your 'capital city' why are you being so chippy about London?

MerryMarigold · 17/08/2015 09:48

Flummoxed and newname regarding postcodes. Whitechapel is E1 (my very first address)! Surely it should E18 if alphabetical or is it the 'capital' of the East End?

I didn't know Walthamstow was ever Essex, you learn something new everyday!

LBOCS · 17/08/2015 09:50

Fourtothedozen, I was born in London, I went to school here, my family live here and all my friends are here. What's the difference between me wanting to stay in London for those reasons and anyone else who grew up in a village wanting to stay there? It's my home town. But it's increasingly difficult for anyone I know to stay near their friends and family because of the costs involved.

MerryMarigold · 17/08/2015 09:50

'Social housing' maybe also refers to people claiming housing benefit and renting from landlords. There's a lot of that going on.

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 09:52

oh :London postcodes - my favourite subject.
E1, N1. W1, and SE1 and SW1 are the most central, and it is only after that that they are alphabetical.
SW1 - Central
Sw2 - Brixton
SW3 Chelsea
SW4 Clapham
SW5 - Earls court
sW6 Fulham

and using your E1 example -
E1 central
E2 Bethnal Green
E3 Chingford

etc etc

DustBunnyFarmer · 17/08/2015 09:53

I've only read p1 so far, but something about people not having a lounge or dining room struck me. I live away from the south east and though the city/area I live in is expensive for my region, it is cheap relative to the south east. A local friend came round with a uni pal who lives in London for coffee. Local friend said afterwards that her London friend was amazed how much space we had and how lucky we were to have the garden flat, as the garden was really pretty. She was gobsmacked to learn we owned the whole house. We are lucky, lucky to have bought our first house 15 years ago before buy to let sent house prices stupid here, lucky to have jobs that cover the mortgage BUT we've also made conscious decisions not to pursue job opportunities in the south east where we would definitely be able to earn more for the same jobs, despite headhunting offers etc. there are other compromises too - we don't have family locally, but that was balanced by lower living costs which meant we could afford childcare when our kids were tiny. It's all about choice. There are some jobs in London that can only be done there because of the City, creative industries etc, but there are plenty of others where people choose to be there & so have to cut their cloth accordingly.

HeighHoghItsBacktoWorkIGo · 17/08/2015 10:05

Chingford is E4, not E3.

I think most young families live in East London. When I first came 15 years ago, everyone I knew lived in west London. Now the centre of London, for local people seems to have moved firmly east. Central west London seems to be a ghost town owned by foreign, millionaires.

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 10:07

ah well there you go. but you get the idea.

fourtothedozen · 17/08/2015 10:15

I have lived in London, but chosen not to stay there permanently.

The housing is a deal breaker. OH turned down a couple of good jobs in London although he lived there for 10 years. There are plenty job opportunities outside London.
Since having kids I prefer to live somewhere with more space, indoor and out.
I live in a 5 bedroomed house, 4 huge public rooms, massive garden,set in a small estate surrounded by native woodland.
It's a 3 minute walk to the train station and I can be in the heart of the capital in 15 minutes.

I bought the house last year- it cost me £215K.

Howcanitbe · 17/08/2015 10:29

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fourtothedozen · 17/08/2015 10:36

howcanitbe- not at all I live in the UK, close to Edinburgh.

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