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Old 10-05-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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I've heard the cost of living in London is astronomical. It is practically a requirement to be wealthy to live in many of our large cities here in the U.S. such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, etc. I heard that London is much more expensive. So, how do people do it? Are they living in homes that were handed down from their parents? Do they have numerous roomates, or are they forced to leave, which is what happens here in the U.S. Do you have subsidized housing? Are only the very poor eligible?

 
Old 10-05-2008, 08:35 PM
 
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Generally new entrants to the London market are either wealthy and can afford it, buy to let investors or newly arrived immigrants/asylum seekers who get social housing prioritized and given to them. Middle class earners are pretty much shut out unless they want to share a flat etc similar to NYC.

Having said that I know plenty of people in million pound homes who don't even make 50k a year such has been the crazy price rises over the past years. What a postman could afford 20 years ago a physician barely can these days. Inheritance is also a big deal in the UK in general and has kept housing going up until recently.

One point to consider is that in London it costs very little to run a home once the mortgage is paid off compaired to NYC or LA. A 2 million pound house will still only pay 2k a year or so in property tax as opposed to a US city where it wil be closer to 40k or more assuming a 2%+ rate. Insurance is also much less. This is why you see low earners in expensive houses in the UK more so than the US as they can afford to keep them.

The very low property tax and free health is why lots of wealthy people I know working in the US plan on retiring back in the UK.
 
Old 10-06-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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It's a myth that newly arrived immigrants get priority in social housing. One of the sources of tension was that priority was abolished and it went to a system based solely on need--so new arrivals were on a level footing with people who had lived in the area for decades. And the supply of social housing is now so limited that even people with points wait years. If you are genuinely in need the council may pay part of your rent through housing benefit, and "asylum seekers" can qualify.

BTW, if you have conditions on your visa ("Further leave to remain" with the "no recourse to public funds" stamp) you are legally barred from social housing or benefit.

New immigrants are usually managing because they are living in overcrowded, often illegal housing--10 people in a 3 bed semi sort of thing. Other people either bought 10 years ago or make a lot of money.
 
Old 10-06-2008, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC
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I don't have an answer for you but I have several cousins that live in London and they seem to do just fine. Now they are not living in 3000 square foot condos but they have the basics in a decent area. None of them are wealthy by our standards but I think they do OK. One cousin just recently moved further out of the city (but still within commutable distance) so that they could get a slightly larger place in the suberbs because she just recently got married and I think wants to start having kids now that she is in her 30s. I think sometimes our must haves in the US are much more than the must haves in Europe. Just my simple observation. I think in general the British conserve more and spend less.
 
Old 10-06-2008, 10:14 PM
 
Location: England.
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At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, I left home in 1986 and lived quite easily in London bedsitland on £3 an hour. Not much money for luxuries, but I learnt quickly how to budget, and even had a social life. They were the best and most happy-go-lucky years of my life, but I needed to get a better job and move to the home-counties when I wanted to get on the property ladder. You just cut your cloth according to your means.
 
Old 10-06-2008, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home Alabama
10,714 posts, read 6,720,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hengist View Post
You just cut your cloth according to your means.
You said a mouthful!
 
Old 10-08-2008, 12:01 PM
 
350 posts, read 970,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post
It's a myth that newly arrived immigrants get priority in social housing. One of the sources of tension was that priority was abolished and it went to a system based solely on need--so new arrivals were on a level footing with people who had lived in the area for decades. And the supply of social housing is now so limited that even people with points wait years. If you are genuinely in need the council may pay part of your rent through housing benefit, and "asylum seekers" can qualify.

BTW, if you have conditions on your visa ("Further leave to remain" with the "no recourse to public funds" stamp) you are legally barred from social housing or benefit.

New immigrants are usually managing because they are living in overcrowded, often illegal housing--10 people in a 3 bed semi sort of thing. Other people either bought 10 years ago or make a lot of money.
Seems like these unemployed immigrants are living better than everyone I know in London with 6 figure salaries:

Mother of all council houses | The Sun |News
 
Old 10-08-2008, 12:25 PM
 
Location: t' grim north
510 posts, read 971,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackrabbit View Post
Seems like these unemployed immigrants are living better than everyone I know in London with 6 figure salaries:

Mother of all council houses | The Sun |News
The story is appalling but sadly not uncommon. The Government was warned that this could happen years ago but they went ahead and changed the Housing Benefit scheme in April knowing full well that these things could happen (anybody want to take a guess at my line of work?).

The council could have restricted the rent but there is no reason for them to go through all the hassle because they get all the money back from central Government.

To be honest this madness only happens in London; a combination of ridiculous hose prices/rents and useless councils who can't afford to recruit decent staff
 
Old 10-12-2008, 10:37 AM
 
Location: in purgurtory in London
3,721 posts, read 1,367,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackrabbit View Post
Seems like these unemployed immigrants are living better than everyone I know in London with 6 figure salaries:

Mother of all council houses | The Sun |News
You can't blame all these immigrants, they learned from the indigenous natives of the UK how to get as much as they can. I know a couple I am so itching to snitch on - She gets paid cash in hand and he claims he has a bad back. They have a council house, a late model van they bought under some disability scheme which also allows them some kinda disability car insurance (I don't know the ins and outs). The pièce de résistance - they have a disability sticker for their vehicle that allows them to park any where without getting a ticket. Even go on vacations to the usual chav destinations in Spain every year.

I've known them four years and the gravy doesn't look like it will end any time soon.
 
Old 10-12-2008, 01:31 PM
 
Location: England/Wales
3,531 posts, read 887,584 times
Reputation: 1354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raggy dee Ann View Post
You can't blame all these immigrants, they learned from the indigenous natives of the UK how to get as much as they can. I know a couple I am so itching to snitch on - She gets paid cash in hand and he claims he has a bad back. They have a council house, a late model van they bought under some disability scheme which also allows them some kinda disability car insurance (I don't know the ins and outs). The pièce de résistance - they have a disability sticker for their vehicle that allows them to park any where without getting a ticket. Even go on vacations to the usual chav destinations in Spain every year.

I've known them four years and the gravy doesn't look like it will end any time soon.
You`re an excellent Janus then if after 4 years they haven`t sussed you,,
They always say you can count your friends on one hand,,If not a friend of theirs how does someone find out so much about another persons life??
Of course there`s always fishwife membership I suppose..
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