IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Essay 3 - Cost of Living Band 7

Title: The cost of living has risen exponentially in some cities around the world. What does this mean for the people who live in these cities and to what extent do you agree with this statement?

The cost of living has increased at an exponential rate in some major cities like Hong Kong, London, Copenhagen, Paris, New York, Miami and Los Angeles. This essay will examine this issue in further detail, before coming to a conclusion regarding this highly contentious and interesting issue.  

Firstly, many cities have seen residents who were born there either move to cheaper suburbs or move out of the city altogether. In some cases this has meant they have moved to another country completely to avoid being pushed out. In traditional neighbourhoods like Hackney, which was a working class or poorer area in London has seen rents rise through gentrification. Brooklyn in NYC is one of the other places which was gentrified and properties are now millions of pounds. Brooklyn in New York City, was initially undesirable. A similar trend can be seen all over the world. The hipsters move in and then the fancy art galleries, trendy coffee shops, posh restaurants, bars and clubs all prop up as a consequence. Crime rates drop significantly, but local people are forced out. Gang ridden, gritty and downtrodden Echo Park in Los Angeles, California also saw massive gentrification and now it is a place full of expensive juice bars and upmarket restaurants - the gangs have moved on to other places and crime has dropped.  

Secondly, one of the most famous places in the world - South Beach in Miami was originally crime ridden. It eventually became immensely popular and nowadays it is one of the most glamorous and sought after places to live in all of Florida and Miami. What it means for the locals is that if they can afford to live there they benefit from improvements, but if they cannot they are forced to move out. One other such example is the traditional island of Mykonos, which is now a major tourist destination. A simple coffee can cost as much as £3.50, which is even more expensive than London. Prices are extortionate and they are definitely not on par with the prices of local places or even the capital Athens.  

I wholeheartedly agree with the statement and the rising cost of living will push some people out, but may improve areas for the better. In my opinion, locals born in these places should also benefit from these changes, but it is not always the case. 

Examiner's Comments: This piece is a band 7 due to the excellent flow of structure, good usage and command of the English language. Furthermore, there are clear examples with valid and contextual points.  

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