Londoners have enjoyed one of the most significant increases in ‘livability’ where the cost of renting and living as a percentage of salary is concerned.
The international marketplace, Spotahome, analysed data on the basic costs of living across 27 European capitals, including rent, internet, utilities, gym and fitness club memberships, shopping essentials and public transport.
It then looked at what percentage of the average net monthly salary this total cost of living accounted for in each city and how this has changed in the last three years.
Currently, Warsaw, Lisbon and Budapest are home to the highest costs of living, with these total costs accounting for between 92% and 96% of the average monthly income.
Zagreb, Prague, Athens, Rome, Dublin, Riga and Bucharest also ranked high in terms of the cost of living as a percentage of monthly earnings.
Helsinki is one of the most affordable cities for renters, with the essential cost of living accounting for just 47% of the average monthly wage.
London, meanwhile, sits mid-table, with 76% of the average monthly earnings required to cover the necessary costs of living.
However, the capital has seen the second-largest decline over the last three years, primarily driven by positive wage growth. In 2017, 89% of the average monthly wage was required to cover the basic cost of living. This has fallen by 13% today.
Vilnius was the only city to see a more considerable decline. The cost of living now also accounts for 76% of the monthly wage, down 18% from 94% in 2017.
Riga, Tallinn, Bratislava, Bucharest, Berlin, Amsterdam, Budapest, Luxembourg City, Helsinki, Athens, Brussels, Vienna and Copenhagen have all also seen the cost of living as a percentage of monthly income decline between -1% and -11%.
Nadia Butt, UK and Ireland country manager of Spotahome, comments: “We tend to see a lot of focus on the high cost of living in many major European cities which is driven mainly by the price of securing a rental property.”
“However, the good news is that across many cities, the level of earnings required to cover this cost of living has actually declined over the last three years.”
Butt says this is primarily a result of consistent wage growth outstripping the increase in the cost of day-to-day outgoings, which demonstrates why many are still keen to travel to foreign countries to further their professional careers.
“Not only can they earn more but spending less of their monthly income on getting by means they have a much better chance of saving for future investments such as buying a house of their own,” she concludes.