Rightmove has revealed the happiest places to live in the UK. This year, Hexham in Northumberland claims the number one spot on the index, having previously topped it in 2019.
London’s Richmond rises to second place this year in the national competition. Interestingly, it is now the seventh year that Richmond is deemed the happiest place to live in London. Third place goes to Harrogate, which is one of the happiest places in the UK.
There were 21,731 respondents from across Britain to Rightmove’s 2021 Happy at Home Index survey.
Researchers found Hexham residents were happier this year than in any other area. The atmosphere in the area is conducive to happiness because of its community spirit and sense of belonging. These factors are among the most important factors for overall satisfaction.
Homeowners in Hexham are currently asking for an average of £297,088, up 6% from last year’s £280,128. Compared to the national average of £342,401, this is lower. Hexham’s proximity to nature and green spaces also makes it popular with residents.
Mayor of Hexham Derek Kennedy commented: “Hexham is thrilled to be awarded the happiest place to live in Great Britain. We are a small town with great history, Hexham Abbey and other historical buildings and our Market Place is 800 years old. There is a wonderful community spirit, people are very supportive of one another. There are lots of community interest groups which gets people working for the greater good.”
“The last 12 months in the market have been phenomenal. People have re-evaluated what they want out of their lives, moving closer to family and moving from the city to the countryside. Over 38% of our sales in the last 12 months have been from people south of Birmingham, as more people now have the opportunity to work from home, and don’t need to be in the city five days a week” – said Ailsa Mather, director at Andrew Coulson in Hexham.
Most people who move to a village from a town are happier in the new location. Almost all (81%) said they were happier where they now live, and 11% said they were just as happy where they lived before.
According to the study, people in search of happiness were more likely to stay within the same type of settlement or to move in stages.
The vast majority of those who lived in a city moved to a town. Whereas the majority who lived in a town moved to a village. Most people who grew up in a village ended up moving to a town instead of a city.
Rightmove’s director of property data, Tim Bannister, said: “It’s been an incredibly busy year in the housing market, with a lot of people deciding that now is the right time to move. It is fascinating to see that people who moved in the last 12 months were more likely to be happy in their areas than those who did not. Whether it may be a couple looking for a small change in the same area, tenants looking for more space, or a family completely changing their lifestyle and moving from the city to the coast, this has been the year that people have really seized the opportunity to move, and turned ideas into action.”
United Kingdom’s Happiest Places to Live
|Rank||Place||Region||Average Asking Price|
|2||Richmond Upon Thames||Greater London||£1,196,892|
|3||Harrogate||Yorkshire and the Humber||£353,624|
|8||St Ives||South West||£494,393|
|10||Leamington Spa||West Midlands||£350,981|
|12||Hitchin||East of England||£491,223|
|13||Woodbridge||East of England||£427,542|
|19||St. Albans||East of England||£632,320|
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