Are these the best places to live in the UK?
Hart in North East Hampshire has scooped the crown as the UK’s best place to live for the fifth time in six years, according to Halifax.
Hart bounced back into first place based on residents’ health and life expectancy, wellbeing, earnings, employment, a low crime rate and relatively good weather.
However, such quality of life comes at a price, with the cost of living in Hart much higher than in many other parts of the UK.
Average house prices there are £419,231, said Halifax, 8.8 times the average annual pre-tax local income, compared to the national average of 7.3.
Home is where the Hart is
Residents of Hart feel fit and well with more than nine in 10 (97%) reporting good or fairly good health.
It has the longest average female life expectancy in the UK of 86.7 years, and third longest for males (82.5).
Hart has one of the highest employment rates with eight in 10 (84%) 16-64 year-olds in work and weekly average earnings of £844.
Residents also enjoy one of the lowest crime rates in the country and more sunshine than the national average. It’s little wonder Government statistics indicate adults living in Hart are amongst the most happy, satisfied and content in the UK.
The Orkney Islands have taken second place, followed by Rutland in the East Midlands, Wychavon in Worcestershire, and last year’s winner Winchester in fifth place.
Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “Hart seems to have been offering residents an unrivalled mix of living standards for five of the last six years, seeing employment rates, average earnings and ONS personal wellbeing rankings bounce back after falling from the top spot last year.
“Along with Hart, many areas in southern England score strongly in categories including the labour markets and health. Northern areas tend to perform well on education and benefit from more affordable properties with lower house prices to earnings.”
More than two-thirds (35) of the top 50 best places to live in the UK are in southern England, with 17 in the South East, a further nine areas in the East of England, five in the South West and four in London.
The remaining 15 are in Yorkshire and the Humber (6), West Midlands (4) the East Midlands (2), Scotland, Wales and the North West (all 1).