Should you live in NYC or London?

When X and I were debating on a move out of Boston, we narrowed it down to three key places. I wasn’t cray about heading to the West coast, so we then were choosing between New York City or London. While both cities are massive urban sprawls bursting with a cultural melting pot of magic, London did eventually win us over in the end. But what if we did pick NYC?

The debate over whether New York or London reigns supreme is one that has been raging for decades.

Both home to world-class shopping, dining and entertainment, along with glamorous theater districts, luxurious property markets and impressive infrastructure, these two cities can make it difficult to choose which side of the Atlantic to call home. When it comes to comparing the equivalent markets of London’s Mayfair and New York’s Upper East Side, it quickly becomes obvious that both cities have plenty to offer savvy city dwellers – but just where do you belong? Take a closer look at both of these ultra prime markets below, and see which area would suit you best.

london skyline by andy powell va flickr

You should live in Mayfair if…

 

  1. You like being surrounded by historic old buildings and classic architecture. Mayfair is one of the oldest parts of London, with development here dating as far back as 1686. As such, the building types and styles are often far more stylised than those in New York.
  2. You don’t mind paying more for property. Behind Monaco, London is the second most expensive city in the world in which to buy and own property, according to the Global Property Guide. Property ranges from £375,000 – £14,950,000 in Mayfair, with the average property value listed as £2,177,82. Mayfair may indeed have one of the world’s most exclusive real estate markets, and looking at those figures, it’s easy to see why.
  3. You value the results of the Mercer Quality of Living Survey. In this report, London was ranked no. 38 out of 221 cities, while New York trailed nine spots behind at no. 47.
  4. You want a decent-sized property. In Mayfair, 43 per cent of available properties were two-bedroom units, while 29 per cent were one-bed properties.
  5. You don’t mind crowding. London’s population has reached its pre-war height of 6 million, compared to New York’s 8.4 million.
  6. You like being close to green open space. Mayfair is situated around Hyde Park, one of London’s many large green open parks in a central location.
  7. You value public health care. Considered by many to be a big aspect of quality of life, there is universal health care in the UK in the form of the NHS, something that has yet to arrive in the States.

nyc skyline by (vincent desjardins)

You should live on the Upper East Side if…

  1. You want to pay less for real estate. In Mayfair, you can expect to pay £2,320 per sq. ft. (January 2014), compared to just £796 for real estate on the Upper East Side.
  2. You love food. Like, a lot. New York is known for being one of the world’s hottest culinary hubs, and you will find 126 Michelin star restaurants in the Big Apple. You can also find nine of the world’s top 100 restaurants in NYC, while London is home to just five.
  3. You value the results of the World Happiness Report. According to the annual index, the US was ranked the 13th happiest country in the world – 10 places above the UK.
  4. You also like being close to green open space. Just as Mayfair has Hyde Park, the Upper East Side is bordered by the iconic Central Park, providing New Yorkers with plenty of open space in which to relax and unwind.
  5. You don’t mind paying to enter museums and galleries. London is home to numerous free world-class institutions, and while NYC certainly has it’s fair share, free to enter they are not.
  6. You are OK with paying more for everyday goods and services. Studies have shown that the overall cost of living in NYC is 8.69 per cent higher than in London – but mind you, VAT is lower here at 10 per cent compared with London’s 20 per cent.
  7. You don’t mind the presence of tourists. New York welcomes an estimated 55 million tourists a year, compared with 16.8 million visiting London.

Have you ever lived in a giant city? If not, would you ever try out London or New York City?

Author: EileenCotterWright

Eileen Cotter Wright is a Boston, MA expat living in London, UK. She is a freelance writer and owner of group travel site PureWander.com. Despite losing her passport the first day she left her home country, she's continued to roam the earth with gusto for about a decade. You can keep up with her hot mess adventures on Twitter @Crooked_Flight.

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1 Comment

  1. I loved this post – it’s so hard to pick between NYC and London but I think the Big Apple will win me over one day! – Char xo

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