Minimum salary required in London: £500k?

I have not one, not two, but at least three good friends (couples) who would broadly agree with the statement that you (/one / they) need £500k of salary to live in London.  Can this be right?  You need at least 20x the official statistical median wage – really?

First a couple of caveats.  The friends I’m thinking of are all ‘fully fledged families’ – dual income mum+dad, with 2-4 kids.  By dint of being dual income, they need paid-for childcare.  They all live in premium parts of London – all in zone 1. They are not blind to the very affluent and privileged lives that they live, but nor are they totally removed from the real world; they aren’t oligarchs.   They also aren’t wildly excessive compared to a bunch of other friends; I know a lot of Londoners who would be a similar camp to these guys.

Secondly these friends all live very comfortable lives.  Regular ski trips, Michelin-starred restaurants, frequent use of taxis, babysitters used at least once a week – these are all a given.  But they all have budgets, manage their finances pretty carefully, and bitch about the cost of living.

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