Absurd rent prices, transport madness and a city with no heart.

Photo: Dream Afar
Photo: Dream Afar

Precisely three years ago I made the rather bold decision to relocate from my homely city of Birmingham to the chaotic capital, London to study for my undergraduate degree.

Three years on and a Honours Bachelor degree, I find myself relocating once again, and facing a new adventure in hilly Sheffield.

Photo: skyscrapercity.com
Photo: skyscrapercity.com

Upon making this ‘interesting’ decision, as my friends and closest confidants titled it, I was faced with the battle of transition, which was to confront me in the months ahead.

However, this simple truth remains: no other city in the whole of Britain compares to London! Debatably, it is perhaps also the greatest city in the world. Nevertheless, with all the greatness London proudly boasts, it has its own way of alienating those who are not prepared to sell their souls to the devil; the devil otherwisely known as rent/property prices.

You might think, ‘oh, here we go another article on London property/rent prices.’ Well, frankly it is.

No matter the number of times you will have read about it or angrily discussed the extortion of it all with your friends at the pub, (or if in the case you live in “hipster London,” a corner café in Old Street), there is no way to avoid it. Particularly if you reside in the capital, there is certainly no way of escaping it. Simply picking up the Evening Standard already has you submerged in the whole foray. 

According to the London Datastore, average house prices in London ‘grew by 4% in the last year,’ which interestingly enough ‘now stands at £493,000.’ That figure alone could possibly buy you acres of land somewhere, anywhere, just not in London.

Courtesy: London Data Store
Courtesy: London Data Store

These outlandish prices in Britain’s economical heart could be blamed on a number of things: the government in power, gentrification, and the overall economy. Nonetheless, the fact of the matter is countless amount of people – young adults especially – are leaving London and relocating either abroad (likes of Germany, Sweden and Canada) or other cities within the UK; places where they feel there’ll be greener pastures.

An autumn view on Nordiska Museet (the Northern Museum) in Stockholm. Photo: Dream Afar
An autumn view on Nordiska Museet (the Northern Museum) in Stockholm. Photo: Dream Afar

After thorough calculations, it came to my attention that during the course of my time in London – one which brought great experiences – the price of my rent price for a single room in a West London flatshare could essentially get me a mortgage in the city I happen to reside now or in fact any other city in the country.

The disgusting reality is, the Eton-bred and Oxford chums currently in government are using all of their power in turning London into a tale of ‘The Pauper and The Prince’.

You might have heard the story many times; shop owner in what was once a derelict area/neighbourhood, Hackney and Peckham for example, is forced into selling his/her store in order for an ‘urbane and modern redevelopment’ to take place and “increase the quality of livelihood” in the area.

That being the textbook pitch from a suit-wearing corporate investor who knows nothing about living a life of struggle, and was probably in the same pig-canoodling cult David Cameron was once an infamous member, and might you know it, probably still is.

Self-explanatory. Photo: Vanity Fair
Self-explanatory. Photo: Vanity Fair

My situation is/was different to that of a shop owner affected and made to crumble by the acts of gentrification. My case is that of a student who was initially alienated and then driven out of a city that no longer carries emotion like it once did. A city – championed as the greatest city in the world – as cold as the Notting Hill Gate tube station on a wintry November morning.

When thinking about it all, it is sad to see what corporate city London has become though it still boasts great innovation and art scene. However, how many of those artists providing the capital with colour will be around in the next five years? And that’s being optimistic.

The sad truth/reality is London has become an unbearable bully and this time Goliath prevails…at least for now.


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*Last updated: 26/11/15 

Timmy Odejimi
Posted by:Timmy Odejimi