Together Alone

10th July 2019

London Living - Together Alone

#LONDONLIVING2019

Are there moments, however fleeting, in your life that you have felt lonely? That might feel like quite a personal question and its not one we are expecting an answer to, but it’s a growing issue. In this latest article, written by our analyst Jessica Mueller, we investigate loneliness for those living and working in London where although you are rarely further than a couple of metres from the next person in distance, emotionally it can often feel like miles.

Most people dream of living the London Life and being part of the hustle and bustle that’s everywhere you turn. Instagram paints a flawless picture of a happy and fulfilled city lifestyle whether that involves meeting new people, a successful and exciting career or the perfect brunch. In reality London is a very disconnected capital, despite having a population of over 8 million people, which is continuing to grow.

London is multicultural and vibrant, with countless opportunities to try new experiences and meet different people. There is something for everyone whether you’re interested in music, food, fashion or sport. The difficulty is, that most Londoners stay in the same friendship circles and attend the same events. For someone moving to London on their own, it’s a tough reality that it is not only expensive, but can also be very lonely at times. Only 7% of Londoners strongly agree that London is a good place to meet new people – not a great statistic if you’re moving into London solo.

Typically, you’d move into an old Victorian converted townhouse with a few strangers, paying c. 50% of your earnings – maybe not quite the start you had been expecting. The endless Snapchat stories and opportunities leave Londoners feeling inadequate and that they should be constantly busy and leading a fantastic life. This creates an anxious energy or guilt if you are on your own at home. It may come as no surprise then, that London is the loneliest city in the world according to a Timeout survey of 18 cities – 55% of respondents admitted to feeling lonely.

London is fast-paced and can be stressful, not necessarily what Instagram portrays. The lack of social networks is increasing the number of individuals who feel unsupported and alone. The need for change is apparent and Londoners are now more aware of the benefits of having a community, opting to pay for clubs, groups and gyms to meet like-minded people. But with statistics like the one from the Timeout survey, surely it’s time to introduce new ways to connect with each other to keep the city and its residents thriving?

Jessica Mueller

Analyst


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future.

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Is Residential Next?

3rd July 2019

London Living - Is Residential Next?

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There is little doubt that London is one of the most exciting cities in the world. But how we work, rest and play in this metropolis is evolving rapidly.

This is the first one looking at the need for a disrupter in the residential market.

Both the retail and office markets have been hit by disrupters, the impact has been different, but the forces the same. Disrupters aim to use technology to improve user experience to create more efficient, flexible products and services with greater amenity and choice. In retail markets, this has manifest itself in the rapid, universal growth of online retailing. In offices, the effect is most obvious of course in the rise of the co-working sector. Market disrupters have emerged in the residential estate agency market, but this has not reached accommodation and developers yet. So when and how will the residential market be impacted?

London landlords have been in a lucky position over the last 30 years, with little effort or continued investment, rental levels have increased significantly because of the constant high demand for rental properties. It is common knowledge that London is an expensive city to live in – young professionals are most impacted, spending on average 50% of their monthly income on rent. I am sure you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it takes on average 8 years to save for a deposit today. Londoners are increasingly choosing to rent in the long term rather than buy, although there is more to that decision than just finances.

These high rents are becoming the norm, which you could argue is acceptable in the open market if tenants are prepared to pay. However, there is a lack of regulation or fairness, Londoners are paying a high proportion of their salary to live in converted Victorian townhouses. The stock is increasingly becoming mismatched with the desires of London renters. Tenants are dealing with individual, inexperienced landlords who are slow to react to repairs and maintenance, leaving the tenant under stress and paying over the odds for the accommodation.

The demand for flats and shared houses is so high that there is no pressure for change. The current stock is insufficient and does not meet the desires of single people in London. However, there is no motivation for private Landlords because they are still able to achieve high rents quickly on their flats or shared houses. The market needs a large disrupter, the likes of Netflix to Blockbuster to increase the competition – this would pressurise Landlords to invest in their houses and to swing the market in favour of tenants.

Jessica Mueller

Analyst


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future. 

Subscribe to LondonLiving here