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With rent in London being so high one young professional has worked out that it would be cheaper to live in Barcelona and fly to the capital daily!
The social media manager found that due to a combination of cheap rent, cheap travel and the lack of council tax charges in the Spanish city living and commuting from Barcelona would more than undercut the absurdly high cost of living and commuting in London.
According to Zoopla, a one-bedroom flat in West Hampstead would cost around £1,505.
He then added in council tax at approximately £75 and a zone 1-2 travelcard to get to his job in the City, which costs £116.80, making a total of £1,697.
‘I chose West Hampstead because I know and like the area, and it doesn’t seem a stretch to suggest that a young professional may afford to live there’ he commented.
He then compared the prices to Barcelona where a three-bedroom flat, close to the metro, with three balconies, in the ‘nice and safe’ area of Les Corts costs £580 per month.
The young professional added, ‘I used to live there, and being a fairly upmarket residential district, it’s a very decent and fair comparison to West Hampstead.
‘There are, of course, cheaper flats, but I was trying to compare apples with apples – even in spite of the three bedrooms.’
With rent far cheaper, Mr Cookney then considered travel.
He found that for just £29 a trip he could fly back and forth from Barcelona to Stansted via Ryanair nearly every day in November.
He added £5 to get to from Barcelona’s el Prat airport and a £14 return to Liverpool Street, adding £19 to the daily cost of travel.
That’s fixed commuting costs of £48 a day, 4 days a week, for 4 weeks a month, which worked out at £778.
Add on rent of £580 a month and the cost of living in Barcelona and commuting to London comes to £1,358 a month.
That’s £339 less than the cost of living in London and commuting from Zone 2.
Not only would it be cheaper, but the opportunity of living in sunny Barcelona by the sea over living in London is extremely appealing to many young professionals.
He said: ‘I could walk to my desk by 9:30am, with time for a Pret coffee and bacon and cheese croissant en route’
‘It’s just beyond crazy, and completely unsustainable’.
‘I feel like it’s reaching a tipping point. I’ve been discussing with friends this week, and several of us have said that we’re going to have to consider leaving London. The sums just don’t add up’
The only concession he had to make was that he could work from home for one day a week with flights of a weekend being far more expensive.
He said: ‘I thought at least it would require some poetic licence or dodgy sums
‘But the only assumption I’m making is that I work a four-day week in London, with a day at home (i.e. Barcelona).’
As housing prices in the capital continue to rise and the cost of living in the UK soars could this become a viable alternative for young professionals hoping to work in the capital?
Let us know your thoughts below.
Read more conversations about the Private Rented Sector in London below;
50% more Londoners leaving the capital: here
London flats worse than “prison cells”?: here
We can reform London’s rental sector without demonising landlords: here
I’ve often wondered this. With access to many parts of Europe becoming cheaper and cheaper I’m not surprised that some people are looking at it as an alternative option. The commute would be a pain, but you could always get extra work done on the commute depending on your job.
There must be people who already do this. I know someone who studied in the UK from Germany and would stay here in the week and travel home every weekend. It took them less time to get home to Germany than it would for me to travel home to Cornwall!
That’s where a HMO comes in
I have tenants that live in Germany, Poland . Spain etc
They have lucrative jobs here and go home on the Ryanaire bus for the weekend
I was waiting for a relative on Sunday night at the airport and was amazed at the airplane full of Polish and Spanish that came through the airport .
The airline are striving to make it so that you can reach anywhere from any airport . Extra services are being added.
I am sure that there are really well paid executives out there that would love fully serviced rooms.
You can try it for a trial and see how it goes.
We (My business partner and myself) have only been doing it for two years and have learn’t a lot and have changed tactics through time.
It has been a nice change after all the years we have been renting self contained.
I personally love my HMO’s although they are much harder work with admin etc than rentals
I have supplied bedding and towels to my short term tenants of six months and under if they had come from abroad. Usually they have no transport at first . A few have gone on to bring their families over and rent a house .
A lot of them bring their own bedding and towels if they live elsewhere in the UK.
I have a mix of long term and short term exec tenants. To be honest i like my short term and Monday to Friday tenants better.
They are very grateful that they are not having to live in hotels or B&B
The long term tenants can get a bit cocky and sloppy.
I supply a weekly cleaner and check the houses out myself in the week. My cleaner does not clean their bedrooms. She makes sure the bins are emptied and the big bin outside . Once a week my cleaner supply’s a top up of liquid soap. toilet rolls , bath mats and hand towels in the shared bathrooms. I get my cleaner to supply clean bathmats and change shower curtains when needed because this shows that she has been in
I supply a feed back form for my short term tenants when they leave.
With feedback I have found that other HMO’s can be very dirty because no one is in charge , The house gets cluttered up with washing up, clothes and ‘stuff ‘ just left lying around . Some even allow animals . The LL are only interested in the rent .
I can be a dragon! I don’t see why one lazy tenant should make life miserable for the others.
One horrible tenant can lose you all the good ones.
I have 3 very good foreign tenants that say they will probably be staying 5 years now because they are on employer paid studies with work contracts . They have permission to stay for 5 years .
We are Looking to start more HMO’s .
Mary Latham said
I can just imagine ” I’m sorry I am 4 hours late but I missed the plane” hahahaha
I am wondering how many people would employ a person who did not live in the UK? Would it complicate tax and national insurance for an employer?
Mary Latham Landlord
Mary. When i started i had one tenant who did not have a UK national Insurance number or pay UK tax. I had to look into it and found out they can do that.
Now i only take tenants who already have a contract with a company and have a UK national Insurance number . They usually have a National Insurance Number from their home country and a UK one.
How could I have not heard of this!
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