One of the few positive points of the two spells of lockdown in recent months, is that many people have been able to get to know their neighbourhood for the first time, by going out for a daily stroll to keep fit. For the first time they have enjoyed their local parks and other open areas. In a recent poll, Rightmove found that this aspect has had a huge impact on the ‘wish list’ of more than 50% of house hunters, as the need for easy access to nature now has a much higher rating. This desire is also closely linked with the importance now being placed on a property’s outdoor space, such as a garden or good- sized balcony.
Each year a list is compiled of the 20 happiest places to live around the UK and the 2020 selection reiterates peoples’ desire to live in places with the ‘great outdoors’ on their doorstep.
What Is the Number One Happiest Place in London?
Richmond upon Thames has been voted the happiest place to live in London – for the sixth year running. It is certainly hard not to feel upbeat as you walk along its broad, tree-lined streets with their attractive period housing and lovely riverside pubs. The price of housing must be taken into consideration though and the average price is £869,864 which is £2k more than capital’s average price. What is interesting is that the average rental price of £1,879 for a two-bedroomed flat is £250 less than the London average.
For those wanting to be close to nature, Richmond upon Thames scores really well as it is home to Richmond Park, the largest of the Royal Parks. The park covers 2,500 acres and has views across to St Paul’s Cathedral, 12 miles away and dozens of roaming deer. The emerging ideal location for many it seems, is to live in a place that offers both town and country. Other London areas that rank highly are Kent & Chelsea – the most expensive part of the capital - Waltham Forest to the north-east and Bromley to the south-east.
With good commuter links, many people working in the capital much prefer to live a little further out and commute in. Tonbridge, Guildford and Winchester are all popular choices as they all have character, good shopping and leisure facilities. Taking Tonbridge as an example, it is a pretty town with a river, castle ruins and lovely country walks in Hildenborough, Leigh and Ightam. Tonbridge offers really good rail connections to London Bridge and for families, has some of the top schools in the south-east.
North-west of London, the popular commuter towns of Bishop’s Stortford, St Albans and Hitchin have all been voted happy places to live too. All have excellent rail connections and St Albans has its beautiful abbey and Verulam Park for relaxing moments.
What Is the Happiest Place Outside of London?
Away from the capital, Skipton and Leamington Spa are the second and third happiest places to live. Skipton is a charming market town in North Yorkshire that has a cobbled main street and 900 year old castle. For those wanting to get close to nature, the Yorkshire Dales are on its doorstep. The average property price in Skipton £282,917 and there has been a rise of 4.65% in the last three months.
Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, is in the heart of England and sits on the winding river Learner. This attractive Georgian spa town has pretty boulevards and beautiful Regency architecture. The popular Jephson Gardens are situated in the town centre. Leamington Spa lies conveniently close to Stratford, the average property price in the town is £323,483 and there has been a 4.25% increase in prices over the past three months.
Would You Be Happy Living on the Coast?
It has long been said that living by the sea is best both for happiness and health. Not surprisingly, five West Country towns feature on the list of 20 with the pretty port town of St Ives in Cornwall winning the top slot of being THE happiest place to live. The town has a relaxing and arty ambiance that is very friendly and of course there is the coastline which is perfect for walking, jogging and great surfing.
The town is popular both with holidaymakers and house buyers, with the average property price being £413,414. For renters, the average price for a two-bedroomed flat is £719 per month. Four years ago in 2016, property in the town became so popular that the council introduced a rule to ensure that new builds were only bought by local buyers and not those seeking a second property.
The other coastal places that have been voted happy places to live are Falmouth, Weymouth, Plymouth and Poole. These are all popular towns with good amenities. It is surprising though, that some of the popular southern coastal towns such as Worthing. Hove and Southampton did not make it on the list this year too.
If you have decided that you would like to sell your house before Christmas, so that you can enjoy 2021 in a new town, House Buy Fast can offer you a quick house sale with our we buy any house service – we want moving house to be a happy experience for you.