Where is the best place to live and work in the UK?

With the Stamp Duty holiday extension and 5% deposit schemes announced during the 2021 Budget, many buyers are looking for a new home. The day of the Budget was Rightmove’s busiest, with over 9 million visits to the site in just 24 hours. But which areas of the UK are the best places to move to?

Research conducted by mortgage advisors has revealed the best places to live in the UK.

Job prospects, affordability, and quality of life were the three main factors used in the research, with a total of eight metrics used, including the percentage of income spent on rent.

The team at RM Mortgage Solutions ranked 181 of the largest towns and cities across the UK on how attractive they are to people looking to relocate.

Overall, Warrington in Cheshire was ranked as the best place to move to in the UK, with a happy population, good job prospects, and low rental costs propelling this town into top spot.

Within the top ten, two spots held were within Warwickshire, with Warwick and Rugby both appealing to people looking to move locations.

Derby tied second in the top ten, with high average salaries combining with low monthly rental costs to reduce the cost of living here. Residents in Derby spend an average of 17.4% of their salary on rent, compared to a UK average of 33.3%, and a London average of 45.4%.

In comparison, residents in Kensington and Chelsea have the highest spend on rent versus monthly income of anywhere in the UK. On average, 82.8% of a workers’ wages are spent on rent if they live and work in this area.

Each of these areas were individually assessed with a total of eight metrics:

  • Job Prospects – number of roles available, versus number of working population residents. A score of 1 means there is one job for every working-age person.
  • Affordability – the average monthly wage in the area, versus the average monthly rent in the area. This is summarised using rental costs as a percentage of income.
  • Quality of Life – a score based on self-assessments of how residents in each area feel using four factors – life satisfaction, anxiety, worthwhileness, happiness. These are ranked and average to create a quality of life score out of 403.
  • All data is from ONS, Nomis, StatsWales and gov.scot.

The overall five best areas to move to in the UK are:

1 – Warrington

2 (tied) – Warwick

2 (tied) – Derby

4 – Crawley

5 – Tewkesbury

And the five worst:

1 – Eastbourne

2 – Harrow

3 – Tamworth

4 – Gosport

5 – Braintree

How does London compare?

When averaging quality of life, job density and affordability across all London Boroughs, London comes in 48th, with more than one job per worker, high wages of £3,162 per month, but also rental costs of £1,435 per month – 45.4% of the average salary, the highest percentage of any UK city.

If you’re mainly looking for lower rental costs, RM Mortgages compiled the most affordable towns/cities to rent in, taking into account the average salary in each area.

The areas with the cheapest rent:

1 – Derby – £590 (17.4% of income)

2 – Hull – £412 (18% of income)

3 – Barrow-in-Furness – £500 (18.1% of income)

4 – Hartlepool – £450 (18.6% of income)

5 – Stoke-on-Trent – £450 (19.3% of income)

UK Average – £854 (33.3% of average income)

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