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"When it comes to the unwanted title of world's most expensive city for housing, London vies with Monaco and Hong Kong.
"The average house price in the English capital is now nearly £600,000 ($787,000), and a study from the charity Shelter found just 43 properties affordable to people on an average income. Several of these properties were houseboats.
"Life on London's 100-mile network of canals, or 42-mile stretch of the River Thames, has become a popular option for beleaguered citizens, and such homes can cost as little as £20,000 ($26,500). But as more people swap apartments for houseboats, the popular, romantic vision is giving way to a harsh reality."