For many Londoners, buying a house is an unrealistic dream. The property market, while apparently slowing, is still one of the most expensive in the world with prices on starter homes in London going up by £160,000 over the last four years and standing at more than double the average price across the rest of the UK.
With renters stalling in their attempts to get onto the property ladder, many are looking around for more creative solutions that will give them a place of their own, and free them from landlords and letting agents.
One solution more people are turning to is life onboard a narrowboat. To Londoners whose rents are growing faster than their wages, it’s looking sensible to consider downgrading living space to save money. Boats don’t just offer somewhere to sleep: a well maintained narrowboat is well insulated, includes a kitchen with all the appliances you’d expect on land even including carefully selected washing machines.
Boats are available to buy for no more than £50,000, in some cases much less. While, excepting a few specialist providers, mortgages aren’t available, this is far more in the scope of a young person looking to buy a flat even on the outskirts of London.
After buying a boat your only fixed expense is a boat license, renewed annually for between £500-£1000, depending on the length of your boat. While many opt to pay rent to moor their boat in a marina, ‘continuous cruisers’ take advantage of the fact that you can stay for free on any public mooring for two weeks, before you are obliged to move on. This means you are living rent free in the middle of one of the most expensive cities in the world. London hides 100 miles of canal and waterway, so CC-ers have no shortage of options.
People opting for a fixed mooring will find themselves in a familiar situation, balancing location against price. Spaces can be had for as little as £4,000 pounds a year, still making it attractive compared to renting a flat, and a mooring point means you will always have access to power, and potentially a hot shower and laundry facilities whenever you need them.
Considering these advantages, it’s no surprise that young people are finding some convenient London storage to keep their bulkier possessions safe and finding that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, quite so much worthwhile as simply messing about in boats.