Guide to Living and Working in London

Living and Working in London In London, so the legend goes, the streets are paved with gold. Well, maybe not quite, but there’s still plenty of …

Guide to Living and Working in Singapore An OverviewLiving and Working in London

In London, so the legend goes, the streets are paved with gold. Well, maybe not quite, but there’s still plenty of opportunity in the UK’s capital.  Demand for staff in IT and finance dominate the high-paying roles, with a strong need for Javascript front–end developers, and both Python and node.js back-end experts.  There’s also less red tape than you’d find in the US and Europe, with time zones that fit well with travellers from East to West, and excellent air travel routes.  With the most start-up IT companies in Europe in 2014, London is also home to 68 of the world’s top 2000 companies. Voted the most influential city on the planet by Forbes, London boasts an unrivalled history and tradition, with all the economic benefits of the City and a language, judiciary and legal system that are international models.

Taxation

The individual tax allowance (the amount you can earn before paying tax) is £10,000. After that, a 20% basic rate tax is applied to the first £31,865 earnings, with a 40% higher rate kicking-in on income between £31,865 and £150,000.

Housing

If you are considering a move to London, you will need to appreciate that accommodation is not cheap, and the demand for housing is high, especially in the rented sector. Monthly rents in the capital have climbed 3% year-on-year, pushing rents ahead of salary rises.  If you’re planning to buy, house prices in London continue to rise at a rate of almost 20% a year.

Living in London

Life in London is expensive. Everything from a haircut to a coffee is likely to cost more than you’re used to, but higher salaries should compensate somewhat.  There is a wealth of culture and theatre to enjoy, as well as art galleries and many free attractions, like parks, museums and open spaces.

Education

London is home to many excellent schools, both private and state, as well as renowned colleges and universities.

Health

Healthcare is available privately here, but is also provided free via the National Health Service.  London also hosts some of the most eminent teaching hospitals in the world.

Climate

Unlike the extremes found in continental Europe, London has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons.  Weather can be unpredictable, with unseasonal storms, icy spells, and heat waves. The hottest month is usually July, and January the coldest. Temperatures range between 76°F in summer and 44°F in winter.

Some comparison prices for four major cities.

London (£s) Berlin(euro) Hong Kong(HK dollars) Singapore(S dollars)
Average annual salaryFor an Account/Director 53,000 76,631 458,963 98,763
Average cost of a VW Golf 16,495 19,000 239,500 140,000
Average cost of a litre of fuel 1.36 1.59 16.97 2.12
Average monthly rentOne bed apartment 1,500 600 16,205 3,600
Average monthly disposable salary after tax 1,752 1,815 19,277 3,932
Average annual mortgage rate 4.12% 2.95% 2.60% 2.45%
Average cost of monthly utilities 145 180 1,332 193

 

For those considering a move to London, there is undoubtedly much to enjoy: the chance to work in one of the world’s most vibrant cities, where real opportunity still exists, and the chance to live in one of the worlds busiest multicultural centres. The rest of Europe is just a train-ride away, thanks to the Eurostar rail link.   London truly has something for everyone, and is still the premier destination for many people across the world.

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