The recent release of Halifax’s annual quality of life (QOL) survey has highlighted what some are calling a widening of the north south divide. In a thorough ranking of all 405 local authority districts, just 8 areas of the top ranked 50 locales can be found outside the southern and eastern regions of England.
The survey examined various factors they believe are necessary for a good quality of life in a modern community. Aspects such as employment levels, the state of the housing market, educational standards, health, crime rates, the weather and broadband speed were all taken into account.
Surrey once again figured highly, with four of the top twenty spots taken up by its local authority regions, but it was Hampshire’s Hart region which triumphed this year; ousting Surrey’s Elmbridge from the top spot.
The top 50, however, was conspicuous in its omission of all regions in Scotland, Wales and much of the rest of the Kingdom. The top twenty included only four regions outside the southern and eastern regions of England: Rutland, Wychavon in Worcestershire, North Kesteven in Lincolnshire and Rushcliffe in Nottingham. The rest of the positions were occupied predominantly by the wealthiest commuter regions of Berkshire, Kent, Hampshire, Surrey and Hertfordshire.
Hart, now officially Britain’s most desirable place to live, boasts excellent links to London via high speed rail and the M3 motorway, areas of rural tranquillity such as Crookham and Crondall and an average earnings of £841 a week – 40% higher than the average Britain. Its ageing population is in good health, with 95% of residents reportedly in good shape, leading to a better than average life expectancy (81.7 years for men) and even the weather is more temperate than usual, with 33 hours of sunshine a week versus the average 29.7 across the Kingdom.
Although wealth plays a part, its influence on the desirability of a location is shown to be limited by this survey. With an average weekly income of £1,521, Kensington & Chelsea is the wealthiest locale in Britain, but does not figure in the top twenty.
Some would argue, however, that a lack of sunshine in London might be viewed as a lot less important when contemplated from the comfortable warmth of an indoor heated swimming pool.
To find more details on Halifax’s QOL survey, click here.
If you are thinking of moving to one of these desirable locales, click here to visit PropertySurveying UK and find a local, independent property professional that can assist you.