Why Is It So Expensive To Build In London?

Ever wonder why it costs so much more to build in London compared any other city in the world? The video above from The Economist explains why.

A few of the reasons why London is the most expensive include:

  • Tunnels: London has more tunnels, including sewers, the Tube and Mail Rail, compared to other cities.
  • Bombs: There are still a worryingly large number of unexploded World War 2 bombs scattered all over London.
  • Archaeology: The Roman City of Londinium was founded almost 2,000 years ago and has been inhabited off and on ever since. Most major projects in the City require an archaeological dig as part of the building process.
  • Streets: Narrow streets make it difficult to access building sites and also build buildings with standard 90 degree angles.
  • The Planning System: To preserve London’s historical character, different levels of government have all sorts of planning rules. These can include anything from conservation areas that specify what colour your front door has to be, to protected views of London’s major sights such as St. Paul’s and The Tower of London. Each restriction adds just that little bit more to the cost.

Despite the high costs I think they’re worth the price of living in London. Given that there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of new buildings going up, I’d say those doing the building agree.

You can read the full analysis on The Economist website here.

Why Are London’s Property And Rental Prices So High? Hint: It’s Not Greed

One Hyde Park - Some oftThe most expensive flats in the world
One Hyde Park – Some of the most expensive flats in the world
After the weather, there are few things Londoners like to complain about more than the high cost of either buying or renting a place to live. To say London is an expensive place to live is to state the obvious. However, one or two examples will serve to show just how bad the situation has become.

According to the BBC housing calculator the average price of a house now stands at a staggering £402,000 in Greater London. This is around 2.5 times more than the average for Scotland and well over £100,000 more than the next closest region (unsurprisingly the South East). These prices make buying a home in London extremely difficult – if not impossible – for families on modest or even not-so-modest incomes.

Examining the situation from a global perspective doesn’t make the situation look any better. According to Global Property Guide, London is second only to Monaco in terms of the cost of buying or renting a place to live. While other studies don’t place London quite so high on the list, no one claims that London is cheap.

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