The cost of living in London has always been high, but recently it has been getting out of control, with real estate asking prices jumping a shocking 10% in October, for example.
This level of housing insanity has prompted some crazy solutions to the horrible expense of London life. For example, Sam Cookney, a blogger based in London, theorized on Twitter that it’d be cheaper for him to rent a two-bedroom in Barcelona, Spain, and commute to work four days a week than live in a one-bedroom in the U.K. capital:
Done the sums. Would actually be cheaper for me to rent 2 bed flat in Barcelona+commute to London, than get 1 bed here. Genuinely. Blog it?
— Sam Cookney (@Sam_Cookney) October 24, 2013
Cookney decided to publish his theories in a blog post, and it appears that he’s right — in fact, he might be able to afford a three bedroom apartment in Spain.
Cookney reasons that he’d need around £1,697 a month for rent in the area he’d ideally live (the admittedly fairly nice West Hampstead), if he includes tax and travel. That’s €1,979 a month or $US2,700.
How far would that money go in Barcelona? Well, Cookney looked towards the upscale Les Corts and found a fairly average three bedroom apartment for a flat rate of €680 ($933) a month. He found cheap flights from a nearby airport worked out to around €57 ($78) a day, even factoring in the costs to and from the airport.
In total, Cookney claims, he would live in Barcelona and commute to London four days a week for around €1,592 a month — a €387 discount ($530) on life in London, with two extra bedrooms.
Whatever the logic of Cookney’s argument (four hours of flying every day is not an ideal lifestyle, certainly), it has hit a nerve. His original blog post has now been shared seven thousand times at the time of writing and picked up by the Daily Mail and even appeared in Spain — a bit surreal for a blog devoted to finding “the best burger in North West London.”
Unfortunately, this does seem to be the new reality of the largest city in Europe — a London where Londoners dream of commuting from Spain, and Spanish expats with multiple college degrees live cleaning toilets.
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