I moved to London in January 2007. I’d quit my job in Bedford with nothing really to go for, save a feeling that it was time to move on, and got a job for Hotxt (later Trutap) in London the next day or so. Since then I’ve had some of the best employment experiences, and some of the worst. I’ve worked with startups primed to go global, startups on a dark and cynical path to oblivion, and startups with a hope and plan for the future that was just out of reach for them. I’ve even worked for established companies.
But last month, the new build houses where my garden used to be went on sale for £750,000. Eight months ago our rent went up by ~10%. At the end of September it’ll do so by another ~10%. I’m a software developer, earning a decent – if not excessive – wage, and I’m being rapidly priced out of the top quarter of the tube map. London house prices, and unregulated rent, are now completely too bad for me to deal with.
I love London a lot. Apart from the town I grew up in, it’s the place I’ve lived longest, and I’ll be sad to see it go.
But last Wednesday we wandered up to Oxford, and spoke to an estate agent directly out of central casting, and he took us to some expensive and tiny places. Then we went to the flat of a friend of a friend and… well, now we have a flat in Oxford.
It’s not all sunshine. Whoever told me (over the phone, annoyingly) that I could break out of the contract with the current place with 30 days notice was not entirely accurate, so we have to hope someone picks it up from viewings this month, otherwise we’re liable for another month’s rent on top while the contract expires. Our new Landlady needs to finish up doing up the new place, but that does mean I won’t be trying to move in the two weeks before Odyssey, so small mercies…