8 other homes you could buy for the price of the average London house

This child instinctively understands that he will never own his own home. Image: Getty.

Rejoice, Londoners, for we have entered the long-promised golden age of wealth and prosperity for all! (Please note: prosperity for anyone who doesn't own their own home not guaranteed.)

In the year to July, according to official figures out today, the average house price in the city rose by more than 19 per cent, and topped half a million for the first time. For those keeping score at home, this means that, for a couple to buy an average property, they would need a deposit of £50,000 and a combined income of £100,000. Here is a fine example of the sort of luxury property they could get for their money:

That's it, that's what you get. I mean, it's alright, I guess, but... half a million? Christ.

At the end of the day, of course, we're talking about a lot of money here. Aren't there much better things you could get for your half a million quid?

Well, yes, obviously. In the Highlands of Scotland, for example, you could get yourself this 12 (yes, 12) bedroom property with a view of a monster.

Alternatively, if you fancy something a little less far flung, in the suburbs of Los Angeles you could get yourself this “ranch house”:

5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms... Okay, it’s not enormous as big American detached houses go, and it is in the Angelino equivalent of Orpington. But compare it to what you get in the actual Orpington and it still looks like a good deal.

Annoyingly, of course, this one’s a good 10 miles from the ocean. If you prefer something a little more convenient, down the road in Huntingdon Beach your $800,0000 will net you a mere 2 beds and 3 bathrooms (this is, presumably, in case you all need to go at once).

Yeah, so this one is smaller, but it does look nice. So nice, in fact, that the realtor has become a bit over-excited about selling it, and their caps lock key has become stuck.

Talking of Tuscany (DYSWIDT?), if you take your money to the Italian hills, you could acquire this 6 bedroom villa. In fact, it’s a trio of villas, with 2-bedrooms apiece, set around a central swimming pool. They also come with their own vines, fruit trees, meadows and woodland.

Again, though, no beach. (Hills? Meh.) So let's nip over to Thailand, where for a mere £457,000 you can get 4 beds, 4 baths, a private swimming pool, access to a private beach, and oh god sod journalistic objectivity I really want this one or even just to spend maybe a month there how can I make this happen how how how.

As we said earlier, of course, half a million quid is a really quite enormous amount of money – so let's go all out. According to the ever-useful Private Islands Online (“Islands for sale worldwide”), there are no fewer than 120 different islands which could be yours for price of an average London home.

Not all fit the definition of a tropical paradise, however. They include this tiny landmass in Maine which, in defiance of the first rule of branding ("Don't give your product a name reminiscent of famous nuclear disasters"), retains the evocative name "Two-Mile Island". It is, however excellent value for money:

If you prefer something warmer and more reminiscent of the hit HBO series True Detective, you could instead acquire this lovely shack, set in 17 acres off the Gulf coast of northern Florida.

But if you really want to leave the rat-race behind, you might as well go full-on supervillain. Six miles off the coast of Belize you'll find Morris Caye.

"As you approach this Caye you are mesmerized by the captivating shimmer of deep blue morphing to turquoise crystal clear water with a bountiful myriad of living corals right off the edge of the island...

"If you are looking for the ultimate statement that you have arrived, acquisition of this island assuredly punctuates that fact."

Here’s a picture:

All this – yours for about the same as a one-bed flat in a not-too-shitty part of inner London.

You do have to build your own house, though.

Anyway, to sum up, the London housing market’s screwed.

Image credits: Screen grabs from Rightmove or Private Islands Online.


UK moves to ease lockdown, London mayor moves to investigate Covid-19 inequalities

Schools and shops are beginning to open their doors here in the UK, amidst concerns that the government is easing lockdown too early. Outdoor markets and car showrooms are allowed to re-open from today, while classrooms are reopening for children in reception, year 1 and year 6.

However, as many as a million children – half of those due to return – are expected to stay home due to safety concerns from both parents and schools. And overnight, the Association of Directors of Public Heath cast doubt on the government’s claims that the UK was meeting the five tests for easing lockdown. “Over the weekend we have seen signs that the public is no longer keeping as strictly to social distancing as it was,” it said in a statement. “A relentless effort to regain and rebuild public confidence and trust following recent events is essential.”

Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people who work for the city’s government will be offered risk assessments in an effort to tackle the health inequalities thrown up by the Covid-19 crisis.

The service – which will be open to staff of the Greater London Authority, Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade, among others – will consider the physical and mental health needs of all vulnerable staff workers.

The disproportionate impact the panedemic has had on ethnic minority communities has been a topic of concern to the mayor for some time. In a column for the Guardian in April, he noted that, despite making up just 14% of the UK population, BAME patients made up a third of critical covid cases. He called on the government to investigate, and asked the  Equality and Human Rights Commission to do the same the following month.

Today’s statement from City Hall notes that, according to the Office for National Statistics figures, black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die from coronavirus than white men and women, after taking into account age and socio-demographic factors. And a study by City Hall’s Intelligence Unit shows that London’s highest covd-19 death rate is in the east London borough of Newham, “where 82 per cent of the population are BAME, one in three is in insecure employment and there are high levels of deprivation, obesity and diabetes”.

More from City Hall here.