Only in London Town: Everything costs twice as much as everywhere else


london-slideshowSimon Kelner, columnist for The Independent, tells a salutary story. Gathering with some other “metropolitan types” in Hull, he ordered a round of drinks and reached into his wallet expecting to pay twice as much as it cost. £9.40 in Hull, versus £20.40 in London.

Unsurprising revelation, considering London is now officially the world’s most expensive city, twice as expensive as Sydney, four times more than Rio de Janeiro. The strength of the pound, the upward arc of property prices and, most crucially, the influx of the global super rich, has forced London into top spot. Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo didn’t have a chance.

This is unhealthy, as Mr Kelner points out: “What happens if the super-rich take their Lamborghinis and their investment portfolios elsewhere?” More to the point, there’s no point in a city in which only the rich can afford to live.