London's cheapest suburb: Barcelona

roaminblue

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27 Apr 2008
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Apparently....


London's Sam Cookney caused a stir recently when he argued property prices in the UK capital were so high it would be cheaper to live in Barcelona and fly to work every day. Here he tells The Local what inspired his thinking.

"It all started as a bit of a fun for a couple of friends," the London-based social media manager told The Local about his viral blog piece.

In his article, Cookney demonstrated he would save €387 a month by choosing to live in Barcelona and commuting with Ryainair to London four days a week for work.

To "compare apples with apples" he chose to line up Barcelona’s upmarket Les Corts district against London’s pricey West Hampstead.

Even after opting for a three-bedroom apartment in the Catalan capital over a two-bedroom option in London, and after adding in the costs of flights and train fares, the Spanish city still came out the winner.  

The reaction has been astonishing with media outlets latching on to the story with its "surreal premise".

At the same time, plenty of commentators have taken Cookney to task over his sums, saying he hasn't factored in variables such as changing airline prices, or the toll that all that travel would take.

But the social media manager says those people are not focusing on the key message of the article: "People are being priced out of this city."  

"I’m not seriously suggesting that people start commuting between London and Barcelona, and I’m not about to start doing it either.

"I wanted to highlight how property prices in London are not sustainable."

Cookney said the origins of the idea to compare London and Barcelona could be traced back to when he lost his job in April.

Soon afterwards, he found himself applying for work in Barcelona, a city where he lived and taught English for a year in the mid-2000s.

"I love Barcelona. I always tell people it’s my favourite European city," he explained to The Local.

"It has everything: the sea, the mountains, the nightlife. It is great fun, and friendly there’s a decent start-up community."


Cookney was also spurred on by the recent media debate about property prices in London — a discussion he said originated with a New York Times piece about the city becoming a home for the super-rich.

Recent figures quoted by the UK’s Guardian newspaper show property prices shot up 9.7 percent in London from July 2012 to July 2013.

"I’m very glad my piece has been taken seriously and that it has raised the issue of high property prices in London," Cookney said.

And what advice would he give to the many Spaniards eyeing a move to the UK capital?

“If you can get a decent job in London, the salary is great. But there are also lots of people working a lot of hours just to pay their rent," Cookney warned.        


<a class="postlink" href="http://www.thelocal.es/20131030/welcome-to-londons-cheapest-suburb-barcelona" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.thelocal.es/20131030/welcome ... -barcelona</a>
 

stony

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London is an expensive, unfriendly shithole. Nothing new.
 

CTID1988

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Ifwecouldjust....... said:
This is true.....its cheaper to fly to Rome for a days shopping than get a second class train ticket to London.My Mrs and her mates go shopping there regularly.

If you buy the flight in advance and plan to buy the train ticket on the day maybe. Buy the train in advance though and its £25
 

Challenger1978

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CTID1988 said:
Ifwecouldjust....... said:
This is true.....its cheaper to fly to Rome for a days shopping than get a second class train ticket to London.My Mrs and her mates go shopping there regularly.

If you buy the flight in advance and plan to buy the train ticket on the day maybe. Buy the train in advance though and its £25

What you're saying is right but its completely fucked up. Its a train not a trip on a plane, it should be like getting on a coach if anything.
 

foxy

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24 Mar 2009
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London property property prices are well over saturation point. The place is also over populated in my opinion. I know some crazy commuters myself, one from Peterborough and another from Ipswich. There was a guy I know of who use to go back to Spain for the weekends so this article is pretty accurate.

What's more shocking is a lot of the pricey houses around the centre are empty with wealthy foreigners investing their money in property as a safe haven.

I actually feel sorry those brought up in London as they are the ones who are struggling to afford property.
 

johnmc

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Manchester. Always will be.
foxy said:
London property property prices are well over saturation point. The place is also over populated in my opinion. I know some crazy commuters myself, one from Peterborough and another from Ipswich. There was a guy I know of who use to go back to Spain for the weekends so this article is pretty accurate.
What's more shocking is a lot of the pricey houses around the centre are empty with wealthy foreigners investing their money in property as a safe haven.

I actually feel sorry those brought up in London as they are the ones who are struggling to afford property.

No chance - this article is not accurate. You are not comparing like for like.
 

adrianr

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21 Nov 2010
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14,301
Fly from Barcelona and back 4 days a week for a month and tell me you'd still rather live there. He only finds it manageable because he does a job he can probably finish in the airport lounge.
 

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