Moving to London from New York

London

Our rating

4 out of 5

  • Affordability 3 out of 5

  • Safety 4 out of 5

  • Healthcare 3 out of 5

  • Traffic Flow 2 out of 5

  • Property affordability 1 out of 5

  • Climate 5 out of 5

  • Environment quality 4 out of 5

If you're considering moving to London from New York, you're in luck! There are countless similarities between the two cities that might help keep the homesickness at bay – the culture, the abundance of green spaces, even down to the similar transport systems.

Plus, by making this move, you'll be swapping one melting pot of cultures for another, since both cities share a huge range of ages and ethnicities living there.

In this article, we'll guide you through what to expect on your big move from  New York to London, including healthcare costs, the price of property in London, and the best areas to move to.

If you've already got your heart set on moving to The Big Smoke, it's time to organise shipping your belongings across the pond. To save you some time, hassle, and money, you can fill in this form to receive free quotes from our suppliers.

a view of London Thames river

A view of London Thames river, framed with pastel sunset skies 

The crowd in London tends to be slightly younger than New York's, with more than one in 10 people aged between 30 and 34.

As you might expect, London is also less dense than New York City, holding about the same amount of people (8.9m) on an area double the size of New York City.

The upside to living in London is that its diversity brings an acceptance not seen anywhere else. Counterculture or crisp suit, the city gives opportunities to breathe, learn and expand.

Also, one thing that is noticeable when coming from New York to London is that considerable efforts have been made to provide efficient and green transportation. London has strong underground, bus, and train networks as well as Santander's Cycle Hire.

Unlike the aggressiveness of New York, London tends to be a bit more welcoming and extends its politeness to newcomers.

The downside is that like most cities, including New York City, crime can be a concern. However, it's important to remember to do your research on the area of London you want to move to – each borough's crime rates fluctuate massively.

The cost of living, as you might expect is relatively high compared to the rest of the UK but is comparable to that of New York City. Most likely you'll find the price of groceries to be cheaper, especially fresh fruit and vegetables, but the price of restaurants slightly more expensive.

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Healthcare in London

Before your big move to London, it's wise to think about medical cover for when you're out there. The NHS isn't available to everyone immediately, and even then it's an increasingly strained public service.

That's why we've created our list of recommended healthcare providers. From there, you can request free quotes from whichever company suits your needs.

Comparing London to New York

Contrary to the popular belief, London is not the city of ceaseless rain. It receives less precipitation than Rome, Bordeaux and Naples. Winters you can expect a temperature of around 5 °C (41 °F) and summers around 8 °C (65 °F). New Yorkers can enjoy more mild temperatures, as London rarely drops below zero or rises above 24 degrees Celsius.

While the two cities have similar amounts of attractions, London's history heavily outweighs that of New York. Remnants of Roman walls can be seen on a stroll by Tower Hill and iconic locations like Abbey Road remain open to the public.

Lovers of the stage no longer need to rely on just Broadway for their showtunes and dramatic soliloquies, as London is filled with performance spaces, from West End to Shakespeare's Globe Theater. Try going early to the box office, as reduced fares are often on offer before venue opening hours.

London also brings more green spaces than New York City. While Central Park spans a meagre 843 acres, London's royal parks cover nearly 5,000 acres. Garden squares, council parks, greenways, commons and other major open spaces span the city, meaning no matter the location within London, one may enjoy the serenity of nature and activities like swimming, cycling, tennis, boating and horseback riding.

Living costs

While living in London is more expensive than the rest of the UK, the cost tends to be slightly cheaper than living in New York.

London residents enjoy significantly lower transportation costs and noticeably less expensive retail shopping costs. Prices rise nearer the centre of London, with a fast food meal averaging $6.86, a pint at the pub topping out over $6.25 and a five-mile taxi drive calling for $16.25.

The NHS, the UK's free healthcare service, leads to savings and stress relief. Instead of dreading $2,000 fees for simple stitches, the NHS guarantees free and fair treatment for those registered, and static pharmacy payments locked in at just $10 per prescription.

England's approach to culture is another money saver, as the majority of museums, galleries and monuments are free to the public. Forget about that $25 admission fee for the Met and instead enjoy frequent visits to the Tate Modern, National Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum for free.

Transferring money to London

Before you move from New York to London, you’ll probably need to convert some of your savings into British pounds. 

However, it’s best to avoid using high street banks for this process, as you’ll usually have to pay high fees, and you won’t get the best exchange rate. 

That’s why we’ve done our research and compared all the major money transfer services on the market, so you can choose the right one. Check out our expert ratings and find the best money transfer provider today.

Property information

Moving countries can be a bit harsh on the old purse string, so it's best to research the property market in your new home before you move.

London is the most expensive city in the UK, and with steady rises in price, many outsiders looking for a cheap property are easily disheartened. The average price for property in London stood at £666,842 in November 2020 –  a rise of 5.99% since 12 months ago.

However, this price your pay will depend on which London borough you decide to live in. Plus, whether you're moving from a detached house neighbourhood like New York City's Forest Hills, or a majestic townhouse lined street like Brooklyn Heights, London offers boroughs suited for all tastes and budgets.

The most important considerations Londoners take into account when narrowing down their property search options are the commute times and prices.

The average price of a one-bedroom apartment in the City of London is around $644,500 and a three-bedroom around $1.24m. The average price in Kentish town is $472,470 for a one-bedroom apartment and $784,115 for a three-bedroom, but there are other areas where property prices are significantly lower.

Similarly, monthly rent in a more expensive area like Chelsea would come at around $675 per week for a one-bedroom apartment and 1,700 per week for a three-bedroom apartment.

In Golders Green, for instance, the price of a one-bedroom apartment would be around $330 per week and around $685 for a three-bedroom apartment. Nonetheless, the vast majority of students and young professionals would share an apartment with other people alike.

Protecting your belongings in your new home

If you’re planning on moving to London from the US, it’s sensible to think about getting some home contents insurance. Protecting your personal belongings is important – whether you’re buying a home or just renting. 

That’s why we’ve partnered with Getsafe. With more than 150,000 customers and tailored plans to suit your needs, Getsafe will give you peace of mind. Start with a free quote today.

One of London's most famous examples of modern architecture: 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin)

Neighborhood picks

 

Family-friendly

Earls Court – an inner-city district, or the less expensive northeast Stratford are ideal for young families and professionals. Serious redevelopment has given the first a major facelift, making it a picturesque neighbor to fashionable Kensington. The expansion Stratford experienced after the Olympics has made it into a leisurely retreat from bustling central London.

 

Upmarket

Kensington or Chelsea: Those wishing for a more prestigious postcode similar to those available in New York's Upper East Side can search in luxurious Kensington or Chelsea. Densely-populated and affluent, these centrally located areas offer world famous shopping and stylish restaurants as well as easy access to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, two of London's famous parks, and several museums, galleries and theaters.

 

Hip and trendy

Clapham – ranks in all three “cool” categories of houseshares, artist and media professionals and moped users, and its south of the Thames location makes it one of the more affordable hip and trendy areas in London. With three tube stations, getting around London is easy, though the busy cultural scene, eclectic shops and Old Town steeped with history provides a welcome retreat to all.

 

Up and coming

Wood Wharf – an extension of Canary Wharf, was recently approved for the construction of up to 3,610 homes. The project is in line to coincide with the arrival of the Crossrail in 2018, making the low costs of property a bargain for the potential the district holds. Further outside London, the quickly growing neighborhood of Ilford boasts affordable apartments, transport links and recreational activities for all.

Schools and education

With 40 higher education institutions and nearly 700 schools, London is not short on academic prestige. With a choice of academy, local authority, faith driven and free, there is no “typical” type of school. Due to the range of selection and over-subscription, London's educational systems have been placed under pressure which has led to outstanding results.

Named an educational superpower by the BBC, London now holds the most successful schools in the country. Statistics have shown that deprived inner London youths are overtaking wealthier, more affluent youths outside the city.

While academies, free and faith-driven schools can compose their own requirements, state-run must follow a national curriculum. Unlike the K-12 system used in New York, the UK's state-run schools must follow a program comprised of key stages from one to four.

The national curriculum starts at the age of five and runs through “Year 11” at the age of sixteen. In England, formal graduation does not occur. Instead, final GCSE exam results determine students' success.

The admission process can be stressful, but most schools offer advice by phone or appointment. Deadlines for applying typically fall in January for primary aged children and October for secondary schools.

Private options will average at about $17,455, whereas local authorities and free schools do not carry a charge. The best of each option in London have shown to be West London Free School primary, London Academy or Tiffin Girls' School, Kensington and Chelsea local authorities, and Hampden Gurney Church of England Primary School or Guru Nanak Sikh Academy.

Hopefully, after reading this article you feel pumped for your move to London. Once you've got everything pencilled in, your next step is to ship your belongings over to your new home.

This is where we come in. Tell us about where you're moving from, and our suppliers will be in touch shortly with free shipping quotes.