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Cost of Living in London

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on: Oct 02, 2019

Summary: The cost of living in London routinely ranks among the highest in the world. Here is some basic information about the realities of living in London and what you'll need to consider when deciding whether or not to move there.

Living in London - Cost of Living in London

Expats should know London's cost of living routinely ranks as one of the most expensive in the world.

Property Costs in London

In an article about why London is so expensive, the Guardian proclaims there's a chief culprit:

"And then there's the biggest cost of all facing most London businesses. This, as it happens, is also the biggest cost facing most London residents: property. Commercial rents in London are high for the same reason that residential rents are: there's huge demand for tightly constrained supply."

However, the cost of housing in London fell significantly in 2019, as also noted in the Guardian. "Despite a prolonged period of ultra-low interest rates, prices in London have been affected by... the difficulty first-time buyers have in affording prices that are still comfortably the highest in the country and the reluctance to take on big-ticket items of expenditure during a period of Brexit uncertainty."

Expats living in UK interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in UK interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

Currency Fluctuations Impact Expats in London

However, remember to consider the impact that fluctuations in currency will have on your budget. In 2019, the British pound experienced significant weakening against the dollar as the ramifications of Brexit and the state of the U.S. and U.K. economies were debated by the media and investors. This can have a real impact on your purchasing power - for better or worse - so don't ignore these realities and think you're immune to them!

Imagine moving to London and then having the costs of housing rise up again, which could result in you being subjected to a much higher rent. Alternatively, imagine getting a great deal on buying an apartment, having the currency jump and then you're living in a great apartment but can't afford the other expenses of living in one of the most expensive places on earth. Do your research and consider all possibilities!

British expats considering moving home in light of Brexit should carefully consider the impact of expat taxes for U.K. citizens.

Specific Costs of Living in London

You can read about the specific costs of living in London on Numbeo.com.

Also view the difference in cost of living between London vs. New York City, London vs. Berlin and London vs. Montreal.

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Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. With Cigna Global Health Options, you can create an international health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family.

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Tax Implications of Living in London

As for U.S. expats, carefully explore information on the IRS website for U.S. taxpayers living abroad. It's important for U.S. expats living in London to understand how these costs will impact you. Here are the current U.S. and U.K. tax treaty documents on the IRS website.

Expat Banking in London

Your ability to open an international bank account, or an account in a local bank account in London, will be impacted by your individual financial position, the country you are moving to, your citizenship, the policies of each financial institution, and more.

Expat banks often require you to make a large deposit before they'll open an account for you, so you'll need to consider if that makes the most sense for you. Check with your current bank at home before moving to London to see if they have a relationships with a bank in London or even a branch of their own there.

In short, carefully research what you need to know about expat banking while living abroad to avoid unnecessary fees and other possible financial complications.

Join our UK Expat Forum

Visit our UK Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in UK.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Updated On: Oct 02, 2019

First Published: Oct 02, 2019

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