Growing cost of living in London is threatening capital’s “world leading” status, research warns

London’s allure could be ruined by a looming “affordability crisis” study says

Evidence of the exorbitant cost of living in London is not difficult to find. A quick look through a London estate agent’s window is a serious health risk for those born before the 1950s.

Perusing the property news reveals a bewildering dual level narrative of sumptuous luxury apartments costing millions, and the horror of the rental market where you can rent a cupboard in Clapham for £500 a month, or a shed in the corner of a living room for £530 a month, to mention two recent examples.

And beyond property, London doesn’t get cheaper. The difference between buying a pint in London and one in Manchester is 20%, while the difference in price for a monthly travel pass is 61.5% more expensive for Londoners.

Historically, London’s allure has remained intact, with higher salaries going some way to recompensing the capital’s residents.

But how can wages even begin to keep pace with today’s house prices and soaring transport costs? They can’t. And the growing gap is putting more and more people off choosing to come to London.

Victim of its own success

New research by polling organisation ComRes, undertaken for London Tomorrow – a group affiliated with the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) - has warned that London’s “world class” reputation is now at stake.

LCCI chief executive Colin Stanbridge said: “London is a phenomenal success story, but are we soon to become a victim of our own success?

“This new research shows that our city is fast becoming an unaffordable place to set up shop and live.

“We must act quickly to ensure that London’s world-leading reputation isn’t eroded by failures in these fundamental areas.”

The organisation interviewed 150 London councillors, 514 business leaders and 1,005 London adults.

They found that 69% of the councillors and 48% of both business leaders and Londoners said that access to affordable homes was one of the biggest barriers to London’s global competitiveness.

Transport was also a major factor, with 39% of Londoners, 41% of business leaders and 34% of councillors highlighting London’s transport costs as a serious problem.

In addition, the survey revealed that almost half of businesses feel that the high cost of commercial space in London remains a major issue.

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