Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My cost of living in the United Kingdom- Rent and Utilities

In this post I shall touch on the issue of rent and housing. Next year, I am staying with three other friends in a ~1,200 sq ft 3 storey house opposite the university's main building. Our rent per month for this house, excluding bills, is GBP 1,120. That works out to be roughly 64.50 GBP pppw.

Now, this rent is slightly below average for the area; this is because we only have two toilets whereas other more expensive houses have en-suite toilets (this means every room has a toilet).

This area is very much more expensive than outlying areas in Yorkshire where I live, as it is in the city centre and one does not require use of a car.

If one were to look about 5 miles (8km) out of town, the rent falls drastically to 43 GBP pppw (for a four bedroom house, two toilets with a garage and backyard).

Let's compare this to a rent for a ~1,200 sq ft 5 room HDB flat in the outskirts of town, say Choa Chu Kang. The rent is 2,500 SGD for the whole house, bills not included. This works out to be 72.11 GBP pppw. This is for 4 bedrooms and 3 toilets.

As the sale market broadly follows the rent market, I shall not comment on it.

Next, Utilities.

The UK has a multitude of power suppliers you can choose from. These include E-on, EDF, Sainsbury's, npower etc. Singapore has Singapore Power.

Tariffs on Singapore Power include:
28.78c per kWh (14.4p per kWh) for Electricity
22.16 per kWh (11.08p per kWh) for Gas
$1.17 per cubic metre for the first 40m3 and $1.40 per cubic metre for subsequent amounts

Tariffs on E-on include:
20.95p per kWh (42c) for first 720kWh annually and 11.678p per kWh (23c) subsequently
8.248p per kWh (16.5c) for first 2680kWh annually and 4.085p (8c) per kWh subsequently (gas is often used instead of electricity for heating)
Tariffs on Yorkshire Water:
41 GBP standing charge and 60p ($1.20) per cubic metre. 

As you can see, electricity, gas and water as a whole are comparable to Singapore standards. Gas is cheaper in the UK but water is much more expensive. This is because piped water includes heated water (during winter, the cold taps can get really cold).

With rents cheaper and utilities comparable, accommodation is cheaper in the UK.

Next post coming soon. :) 


  1. Interesting!

    My rent in Athens was much more expensive than in Singapore.

    I hope in your future comparisons you will compare food and transport.

    Whenever I travel, food and transport hit me straight away :)

  2. Hi SMOL,

    that's funny, I'd have thought Athens would be cheaper than Singapore.

    Yup, will do. ;)

    See you around!

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