One man came up with a creative way around London’s extortionate rent prices, and now actually flies all the way from Barcelona every day because it’s cheaper than forking out to live in the UK capital.
It all started as a joke when Sam Cookney realised it would be cheaper for him to commute from Spain. The joke, led to a blog post, which led to him actually going through with the idea and getting a two-bed apartment in Barcelona.
Done the sums. Would actually be cheaper for me to rent 2 bed flat in Barcelona+commute to London, than get 1 bed here. Genuinely. Blog it?
— Sam Cookney (@Sam_Cookney) October 24, 2013
Writing on his blog, Sam said:
I think many people thought I was joking when I boldly declared it would be cheaper for me to rent a two bed flat in Barcelona and commute to London every day than get a one bed flat here. Turns out I was – I could in fact get a three bed flat. I thought at least it would require some poetic licence or awkwardness or dodgy sums, but no.
The only assumption I’m making here is my working a four-day week in London, with a day at home (i.e. in Barcelona). Here’s how it pans out: So, Zoopla informs me the average asking price for a one-bed flat in West Hampstead (chosen because I know and like the area, and seems not a stretch to suggest that a young professional may afford to live there) is £1,505.
He’s able to get to his desk in London for 9.30am, but still gets the significant perks of living in Barcelona – the sun, the night life, the food, the beach, etc – all for much cheaper than he’d pay for the same over here.
Still a bit surprised by just how seamless and easy the 1,500km commute works out. At my desk for 9h30.
— Sam Cookney (@Sam_Cookney) July 7, 2015
He pays €800 a month for rent, which is roughly £570. To put that into context, the cheapest two-bedroom flats with garden space in London cost a whopping £1,100 a month!
Of course, the whole idea rests on the cheapness of the flights and Sam reckons he can get returns from Barcelona to Stansted nearly every day for just €34!
Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing. Sam still has quite the epic commute to work every day. Door-to-door, Sam claims the trip takes him around five-and-a-half hours for a 9.30am arrival at his office in Farringdon.
Random street parties with DJs and bands all over Barcelona last night. The city always surprises. pic.twitter.com/f4tIlSfF2t
— Sam Cookney (@Sam_Cookney) July 19, 2015
Sam now splits his time between London and Barcelona and, despite the lengthy commute, there’s still clearly more positives to the move than there are negatives, so Sam is understandably happy about his decision to relocate.
Speaking to the Mirror Online, he added:
It’s really just a complete lifestyle change, and so much for the better. I can go for a run along the beach before work, walk to my co-working space in 10 minutes, escape down the coast at the weekends, have amazing restaurants right on my doorstep, and the cost of pretty much everything is a fraction of London.
Fair play to this lad!