Britain’s happiest places to live revealed – Cirencester made the top 20?

6th December 2023
Home > News > Britain’s happiest places to live revealed – Cirencester made the top 20?

Reported by MARC DA SILVA Property Industry Eye

Britain’s happiest places to live have been revealed by Rightmove, with Richmond in London claiming the number one spot this year.

Winchester in Hampshire came second in the list of happiest areas to live. Monmouth in Wales is third, the first time an area from Wales has made the top three since 2018, and Galashiels is the happiest place to live in Scotland for a second consecutive year.

The Happy at Home Index asked residents how they feel about their area based on 13 happiness factors. It was completed this year by over 26,000 people.

The study found that feeling a sense of pride, belonging, and community is most likely to contribute to feeling happy to live in an area, more so than having access to things like public transport, schools and job opportunities.

One of the key trends to emerge from this year’s study is that those living in rural areas are more likely to be happy where they live than city residents, especially those living near a national park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Those who live in a rural environment, for example in the countryside or villages, were more likely to say they were happy where they live than residents of urban or suburban cities and towns.

Delving deeper into the findings, residents who live near woodland, mountains, the coast or a river, were more likely to be happy in their area than those who live in a built-up area.

The analysis showed that having access to nature and green spaces is more important to residents than having access to public transport, shops and restaurants, and employment opportunities.

Around one in three (30%) residents think that they would be happier living in a different area.

This group is most likely to be younger (18-34), currently living in an urban or built-up area, or come from London, the East Midlands or the West Midlands.

When considering where they may be happier living, this group are split between staying in the same region (46%) and moving to a completely new part of Great Britain (54%).

Of those who think they’d be happier living in a different region, the South West is the most popular choice. However, only a third (35%) of those who think they’d be happier living in a different area are planning on moving in the next year.

There are always many individual motivations driving moves, and this year the top reason residents said they were looking to move home was to find an area that makes them happier (37%).

Moving to a bigger home (28%), looking for better value for money (27%), wanting a change of lifestyle (24%) and changes to personal circumstances (21%) also came high on the list of reasons people are looking to move.

Downsizing (11%), reducing energy costs (10%) and taking advantage of remote working to live somewhere new (9%) were other factors for those planning a move.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert said: “Searching for new areas outside of the city that are still commutable on office days and looking for cheaper properties that are in need of renovation are just some of the actions we’ve seen determined movers take this year. The results of this year’s study highlights that residents continue to value living near green spaces and natural beauty, features that became all the more important during the pandemic. With moving to an area that makes them happy a key motivator for people looking for their next home, highlighting these types of features nearby could really help sellers looking to appeal to potential buyers”.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, commented: “I’m delighted for Richmond to win this award. It has so much of what makes London so special – its access to beautiful green spaces, its real sense of community, and an array of shops, cafes and local culture that makes it stand out.”

Great Britain’s Happiest Places 2023
Rank Place Region Average Asking Price Average Asking Rent (per calendar month)
1 Richmond upon Thames Greater London £952,305 £3,148
2 Winchester South East £571,613 £2,097
3 Monmouth Wales £349,312 £1,214
4 Wokingham South East £572,992 £2,074
5 Cirencester South West £394,216 £1,477
6 Skipton Yorkshire and The Humber £259,692 £875
7 Hemel Hempstead East of England £424,649 £1,703
8 Kensington and Chelsea Greater London £1,812,424 £5,371
9 St Ives South West £515,352 £1,248
10 Hexham North East £317,359 £957
11 Leigh on Sea East of England £461,804 £1,637
12 Harrogate Yorkshire and The Humber £394,085 £1,448
13 Clacton on Sea East of England £263,481 £1,206
14 Kendal North West £280,276 £933
15 Galashiels Scotland £163,634 £700
16 Weymouth South West £318,465 £1,234
17 Woodbridge East of England £489,955 £1,153
18 Anglesey Wales £315,742 £840
19 St. Albans East of England £674,189 £2,235
20 Stourbridge West Midlands £288,753 £1,028

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