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#1 LuckyOne

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:46 PM

We went into London for dinner this evening.

Thinking a bit about train fares and interest rates, London prices started to make a little bit of sense.

Imagine a young couple commuting into London from the outer reaches of Herts, Surrey, Hants, Essex, Cambs, Kent etc. Their annual season ticket could easily cost £4,000 each. If they commuted from zone 2 into central London, their annual commuting cost would be around £1,000 each.

The net savings from living in London versus commuting is about £6,000per household. At a discount rate of 4%, a £500 monthly payment over 30 years is worth close to £105,000 upfront.

Given the differences in quality of life enjoyed from a short commute versus a long commute and the flexibility offered by the Tube compared to Overland trains, it is quite easy to see that many people are choosing smaller flats at higher prices and similar payments to live in London compared to long commutes from the Home Counties.

While I accept the fact that prices in parts of London are being driven higher by foreign money, I also think that prices in many parts of London are being driven higher by low discount rates being applied to the increasing divergence between relative transport costs between Town and the Home Counties.

Of course, there is no guarantee that low discount rates will apply in the long term but the idea of low rates and increasing rail fares is becoming ingrained in many people's minds.

#2 Chuffy Chuffnell

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:55 PM

So, the choice for the Londoner is:

1) Live in a tiny slavebox for vast amounts of money in a shithole within a few miles of billionaires and absolute (occasionally rioting) scum

or

2) Live in modest slavebox (if lucky with 2 storeys :rolleyes: ) for stupid (but not so vast) amounts of money in a soul-less SE dormitory town and pay more silly sums for overcrowded delayed dirty public transport which you have to use 10 times a week, about an hour at at time

Hmm. Or just not be a complete idiot and simply refuse to live in the beehive that is SE England. :rolleyes:

I may earn about ten times less than I could in a high-powered central London job, but I actually enjoy where I live, where I work and the TINY (and very pleasant) commute (5 min walk through a market town in the Shropshire hills).

Edited by Chuffy Chuffnell, 01 March 2012 - 11:58 PM.


#3 LuckyOne

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:10 AM

So, the choice for the Londoner is:

1) Live in a tiny slavebox for vast amounts of money in a shithole within a few miles of billionaires and absolute (occasionally rioting) scum

or

2) Live in modest slavebox (if lucky with 2 storeys :rolleyes: ) for stupid (but not so vast) amounts of money in a soul-less SE dormitory town and pay more silly sums for overcrowded delayed dirty public transport which you have to use 10 times a week, about an hour at at time

Hmm. Or just not be a complete idiot and simply refuse to live in the beehive that is SE England. :rolleyes:

I may earn about ten times less than I could in a high-powered central London job, but I actually enjoy where I live, where I work and the TINY (and very pleasant) commute (5 min walk through a market town in the Shropshire hills).


My discussion point is that a close to central London slave box is relatively less unaffordable than it has been for a long time for people with London centric jobs relative to suburban slave boxes when considering transport costs and interest rates.

I do agree that people who have non London centric jobs would have to be mad to live anywhere close to London.

#4 Sibley's Love Child

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:38 AM

We went into London for dinner this evening.

Thinking a bit about train fares and interest rates, London prices started to make a little bit of sense.

Imagine a young couple commuting into London from the outer reaches of Herts, Surrey, Hants, Essex, Cambs, Kent etc. Their annual season ticket could easily cost £4,000 each. If they commuted from zone 2 into central London, their annual commuting cost would be around £1,000 each.

The net savings from living in London versus commuting is about £6,000per household. At a discount rate of 4%, a £500 monthly payment over 30 years is worth close to £105,000 upfront.

Given the differences in quality of life enjoyed from a short commute versus a long commute and the flexibility offered by the Tube compared to Overland trains, it is quite easy to see that many people are choosing smaller flats at higher prices and similar payments to live in London compared to long commutes from the Home Counties.

While I accept the fact that prices in parts of London are being driven higher by foreign money, I also think that prices in many parts of London are being driven higher by low discount rates being applied to the increasing divergence between relative transport costs between Town and the Home Counties.

Of course, there is no guarantee that low discount rates will apply in the long term but the idea of low rates and increasing rail fares is becoming ingrained in many people's minds.


It's a simple trade-off, for something like each minute (in commuting terms) further away from London it costs a grand or so less to buy a house but that's off-set against increasing travel costs. Any gain made by living further out is eaten up by the cost of transport. Ricardo's Law at work I guess.

#5 porca misèria

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:19 AM

Imagine a young couple commuting into London from the outer reaches of Herts, Surrey, Hants, Essex, Cambs, Kent etc. Their annual season ticket could easily cost £4,000 each. If they commuted from zone 2 into central London, their annual commuting cost would be around £1,000 each.

From zone 2 or 3 you have the ideal cheap transport: get on yer bike! Even if it were free, you'd be mad to do battle with the crowds on public transport over such short distances but not-so-short times!

#6 Gone baby gone

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:37 AM

From zone 2 or 3 you have the ideal cheap transport: get on yer bike! Even if it were free, you'd be mad to do battle with the crowds on public transport over such short distances but not-so-short times!


Yep, years ago I lived in Elephant & Castle and walked to work in the City most days.

#7 hotairmail

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:00 AM

So, the choice for the Londoner is:

1) Live in a tiny slavebox for vast amounts of money in a shithole within a few miles of billionaires and absolute (occasionally rioting) scum

or

2) Live in modest slavebox (if lucky with 2 storeys :rolleyes: ) for stupid (but not so vast) amounts of money in a soul-less SE dormitory town and pay more silly sums for overcrowded delayed dirty public transport which you have to use 10 times a week, about an hour at at time

Hmm. Or just not be a complete idiot and simply refuse to live in the beehive that is SE England. :rolleyes:

I may earn about ten times less than I could in a high-powered central London job, but I actually enjoy where I live, where I work and the TINY (and very pleasant) commute (5 min walk through a market town in the Shropshire hills).




The London economy throughout my life has been a microcosm of the UK economy writ large.

The sheer pressures on it make it naturally inflationary which leads to the incorrect interest rates (too high) for the rest of the country and typically too low for London/SE.

Much of the economic 'success' of London and its inhabitants is thru the credit phenomenon. House prices go up, more credit is secured against them, this leaks into the local economy into prices and wages etc. and of course the phenomenon of 'higher gdp'. (it should be noted that a nurse has higher gdp in London for doing exactly the same job, merely because they are given higher salaries and London weighting to "compensate for higher living costs").

So the model plan is to buy as early and as big as possible and eventually you can cash in all your chips and act like a clever multi millionaire somewhere else in the country.

You will recognise those features of the UK economy itself during the Labour years, where more credit became higher gdp, higher profits, increased wages etc.

But what people don't do, is put 2 and 2 together and work out that that is exactly the London economy. But with huge government transfers to 'compensate' on top.


So - my answer is - follow the plan in the best way you can!

Edited by hotairmail, 02 March 2012 - 08:00 AM.

"The chicken is radiating disorder out into the wider universe."


#8 scottbeard

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:15 AM

2) Live in modest slavebox (if lucky with 2 storeys :rolleyes: ) for stupid (but not so vast) amounts of money in a soul-less SE dormitory town and pay more silly sums for overcrowded delayed dirty public transport which you have to use 10 times a week, about an hour at at time

Hmm. Or just not be a complete idiot and simply refuse to live in the beehive that is SE England. :rolleyes:

I may earn about ten times less than I could in a high-powered central London job, but I actually enjoy where I live, where I work and the TINY (and very pleasant) commute (5 min walk through a market town in the Shropshire hills).


I understand your point, but do you have to be abusive with it?

I live in a Home Counties town which has a lot of commuters, but I have never worked in London and never want to. Instead I work in my own town "commuting" via a 20 min walk down nice tree-lined roads.

I can't see why that makes me "a compltete idiot".
"A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain." Mark Twain

#9 phead

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:25 AM

So, the choice for the Londoner is:

1) Live in a tiny slavebox for vast amounts of money in a shithole within a few miles of billionaires and absolute (occasionally rioting) scum

or

2) Live in modest slavebox (if lucky with 2 storeys :rolleyes: ) for stupid (but not so vast) amounts of money in a soul-less SE dormitory town and pay more silly sums for overcrowded delayed dirty public transport which you have to use 10 times a week, about an hour at at time

You missed ...

3) Screw West or East of london, go North. 30 Minutes into London , and you can buy a 4 bed detached for less than the price of a 1bed flat in zone 4.

Choices choices.

#10 Blod

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:59 AM

Or to save the cost of fares you could just cycle. This phenomenon is evident in the year on year increase of people turning away from public transport. I saw an article recently that was trying to infer that it was the wealthier that were fuelling this increase in cyclists. Reading the figure given here I can see why they end up being wealthier.

#11 hotairmail

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:27 AM

Or to save the cost of fares you could just cycle. This phenomenon is evident in the year on year increase of people turning away from public transport. I saw an article recently that was trying to infer that it was the wealthier that were fuelling this increase in cyclists. Reading the figure given here I can see why they end up being wealthier.




If we get any more advanced, we'll resemble the cities of Mao's China.



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Edited by hotairmail, 02 March 2012 - 09:29 AM.

"The chicken is radiating disorder out into the wider universe."


#12 Georgia O'Keeffe

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:29 AM

If we get any more advanced, we'll resemble the cities of Mao's China.

or Amsterdam

#13 hotairmail

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:36 AM

or Amsterdam




The great thing about the Dutch is they actually build roads for cyclists. Special lanes kept apart from cars (but shared with mopeds).

They don't pay lip service with lanes to nowhere that peter out at junctions, but fully integrated services. I lived just outside Amsterdam at a place called Haarlem for a couple of years.



York is pretty good too (along with Cambridge) and in York there are very good routes all the way into the centre along cycle paths built by the charity Sustrans along disused railway lines and along the river towpath.

I'm a big supporter , my comment was tongue in cheek. ;)

Edited by hotairmail, 02 March 2012 - 09:37 AM.

"The chicken is radiating disorder out into the wider universe."


#14 aSecureTenant

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:38 AM

Or to save the cost of fares you could just cycle. This phenomenon is evident in the year on year increase of people turning away from public transport. I saw an article recently that was trying to infer that it was the wealthier that were fuelling this increase in cyclists. Reading the figure given here I can see why they end up being wealthier.


London is an excellent cycling city, especially now that it has achieved critical mass. When I lived there, gave up public transport, only partly when I moved out to RM2. Even then a cycle ride from Romford into E14, or even the centre was viable, and you could put your bike on the District Line, or the train from Liverpool Street, during non busy periods.

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#15 Dorkins

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:23 AM

From zone 2 or 3 you have the ideal cheap transport: get on yer bike! Even if it were free, you'd be mad to do battle with the crowds on public transport over such short distances but not-so-short times!


I live 7 miles from my job in the centre of zone 1 and my bicycle is the fastest and most reliable way to get to work, even over that distance.




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