Barcelona or West Hampstead?

As London property prices go through the roof, and West Hampstead seems to be experiencing a bubble within a bubble, it’s easy to forget that rental prices are creeping up too. With so many people unable to buy, renting is the only option and people are prepared to/being forced to pay substantial sums to live in a nice part of town.

Former Maida Vale resident Sam Cookney would like to live in West Hampstead (it’s a natural aspiration), but he’s finding the rents pretty steep. The average monthly rental for a 1-bed in NW6 is £1,500. However, he’s a regular visitor to Barcelona which got him thinking…

A few sums later and he’s worked out that (with the caveat that he’d have to work one day a week from his new Barcelona home), it would be cheaper for him to rent a 3-bed flat in an equivalent Barcelona neighbourhood and commute to London than to rent in West Hampstead. By which I mean commuting every day. And yes, that includes travel to and from the airport. In fact he’d save the best part of EUR 400 each month.

There’s a huge downside to this – it’s called Ryanair. Obviously, the travel time and risk of delay etc. means this isn’t a practical suggestion. Of course, it’s also going to be true of lots of places in Europe, but for Sam – who speaks Spanish and loves Barcelona – it must be sorely tempting.

Read the full story on Sam’s blog (which is otherwise entirely about burgers).

  • Anonymous

    There are two choices for renting in London – (a) rough it in a dodgy area, with an expensive commute, next door to some ganster wannabe with a big ego; or (b) pay an astronomical rent to live in a nice area. Seems that people with an endless supply of pocket money from mum & dad are opting for (b).

    • Anonymous

      I think it's less about endless pocket money and more about being willing to pay a greater proportion of income on rent. This is London after all – there are quite a lot of people earning good salaries; when they can't afford the nice areas then something's gone wrong

  • I know Barcelona is cheapest place then West Hampstead because lots of tourists are attracted towards the beauty of Spain and rent accommodations their. Some people like to settle down in Spain so they invest money in villas and beach side hotels which is good for earning during festival season.