How are we meant to afford you, London?

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So this is more of a rant than a blog post. I’m feeling a bit annoyed today for no particular reason, and i’m currently on the tube which doesn’t help, I’m also a tiny bit hormonal, so you know how it is. Basically, I am a grump. However, this is a serious rant because it’s about young people like me. Young people who live and work in London. One of the most diverse, amazing, opportunity-filled cities in the world. A city that people who aren’t in, want to be in, a city that people travel from far and wide to study in, a place where people are desperate to live. So why do I feel so utterly fed up and actually quite disgusted by it? HOW DO WE AFFORD TO STAY?

Someone please tell me how? So my current situation is that I live with my boyfriend (who took the amazing photo above) in a flat that we rent in Fulham. We are lucky in that we have a good landlord and get it for a really good price with our friends. I’m 25 and he’s 28, we’re both graduates and we both have pretty good jobs. In a few weeks our combined income will be over £60k a year, and I guess that if we got promotions and job changes over the next five years, that will increase. That sounds loads doesn’t it? Like, a really good amount of money. It also sounds like a really good situation, which it is, we aren’t complaining, we know we are lucky to be earning over the average wage and to do jobs we like. But the bottom line is, we don’t have anyone to borrow money from, and we aren’t set to inherit anything remotely soon, so if we want to buy our own place, we need to save. You need to save so much to buy in London, it’s almost laughable. It’s basically not worth it.

You need a shit ton of money to buy a house in London. So MUCH money. We could stay where we are and put away as much as possible every month and stop having holidays and cut down massively on socialising and we would still be here in a few years. Young people are getting priced out of London. Renting is SO expensive. If you are fine with renting and you don’t want to buy, that’s fine. It’s fine, yet you still have to deal with being taken into flats that look like hovels and need a million things repaired that probably never will be, and be asked to turn over something in the region of £1200 a month. Then you pay your bills, then you pay your travel, then you buy food and you try and have a social life and then there’s money for some sort of treat or luxury (like buying meat once a week or a new face wash, nothing really luxurious at all), and if you even get that far, it’s all gone. If you can’t afford to have a flat on your own or rent with one with your partner, you house share. House sharing is bloody great at times. It means you pay less rent, it can be fun, it fits a purpose and you can generally find somewhere that won’t tie you down forever. But how long do people want to house share? Into their late 20s…into their 30s…older?

Young people in London, unless you are incredible lucky to be given or lent money, are stuck. They are trapped and the outlook is not good, in fact it’s getting worse. I’m sick of hearing about it now because it makes me feel depressed. This city, where I live and work and where my life and all my friends are, is making it impossible for me to stay in. In a few months I’ll be leaving me flat and taking my boyfriend home to my parents with me so we can save some money and have our own place, so we can get on with the rest of our lives…out of London.

It’s unfair, elitist and absolutely bloody ridiculous. I know I’m not alone. I know the same applies to so many people. I know that so many others will have to turn their back on the place they so dearly want to call home. Well, it’s your loss London. It’s your loss and it’s a Damn shame it’s come to this.

10 thoughts on “How are we meant to afford you, London?

  1. Completely agree with everything you said. I went to uni in London and lasted 8 years there before I had to move somewhere on my own after a break up. There was no way I was going to afford to rent in London on my own even though I earned more than most of my friends. And a flat share wasn’t something I wanted. So I moved back to Hampshire and I now own a house. I miss London, but it’s only an hour or so commute if I want to go in. I always complain about the £70 ticket in during peak, but I’ve saved so much not living there that I really can’t complain.

    I wish you all the luck with finding a new home once you’ve saved at your parents. Having your own place will feel amazing!

    Debbie x http://www.hellodeborah.co.uk

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    • Comments like this make me feel happy about my decision! I’m excited to just start saving and get it all going now. I will miss London but in some ways I am really tired of it already and I’m only 25!

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  2. I came across your blog from Hannah Gale and I have to say:
    Preach on sista!
    No, but seriously you’ve basically put all my feelings into words. I’m currently doing a paid internship that I love but since I can’t afford to rent – I’m bunking with my cousin (which is so very lucky). But now that I’ve started looking for full time jobs – I’m in a bit of a dilemma as I don’t want to cramp up my cousin’s small place any more so I know exactly what you mean about it driving you out. I mean I love this city but I’m really considering commuting from outside London (even if train fare is ridiculous) just to make ends meet. Plus, the icing on the cake is that Children’s publishing is all in London – so it’s not like I can apply for jobs in my home city!

    Anyway – I really hope it all works brilliantly for you! Here’s hoping you and your boyfriend get a lovely place to call your own!

    Asmaa xx

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    • Thank you! I hope it all works out for you too! London is pricing everyone young out at an alarming rate. I’m actually looking forward to getting out and commuting in, just so I can at least live in a house I want to spend time in! Good luck with the internship and the job hunt! xxx

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  3. I feel London isn’t the be all and end all of places to live. To be honest I’m glad I’ve never live there, only on the outskirts quite a few years ago, briefly – anywhere in ol’ Blighty is just as good, if not better than London, and I prefer living by the coast (at the moment) than all that hustle bustle up there.

    Getting out of London, and being able to save is going to be great for you. It may not seem like it, but it will be!!

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    • I would love to live by the sea. I want to end up there one day, somewhere in the world! Sadly my work is predominately in London but once I get the experience under my belt I’ll move on to these other places! xx

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  4. I don’t even try and work in London because I can’t deal with the heartbreak that comes from not being able to afford it. Which is a shame as i bladdy love that city, but England is full of surprises and places that you would have never discovered if you’d never left London. My current location puts me 1 1/2 hours from London, 45 minutes from Brighton, 45 minutes from Southampton and 30 minutes from Portsmouth and I’ve found so many places that make my eyes and stomach happy.
    Here’s to you finding every bit of happiness with your move xo

    PS) JUST THINK OF ALL THE DECORATING!

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    • Thanks! I am SO excited about the decorating, it’s basically my biggest push into moving haha. I definitely need to explore more of the UK. I only made it to Scotland for the first time this year and i absolutely adored it. London is NOT the be all and end all xxx

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