Britain’s happiest places to live revealed

Housing website Rightmove surveyed more than 20,000 residents across Britain

The harbour at St Ives, Cornwall. PA
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St Ives has been crowned Britain’s happiest place to live in an annual survey.

The Cornish seaside town overtook Hexham in Northumberland to take this year’s top spot in Rightmove’s survey, having alternated with the market town for first place since 2019.

The picturesque spot is popular with tourists and was the scene of the G7 leader's summit in 2021.

More than 21,000 people responded for Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index, which asks residents how they feel about where they live.

Locations are ranked based on factors such as whether people feel there is a sense of belonging, the proximity to green spaces, local amenities and community spirit.

The residents of St Ives scored the area highly for its sense of community spirit, the sense of belonging the residents have, and how comfortable residents feel to be themselves, Rightmove said.

House prices in St Ives have increased significantly and inquiries to buy a home in Cornwall are 9 per cent higher than in 2019, Rightmove found.

The average asking price for a home in St Ives is £523,731 ($625,000), which is 6 per cent higher than last year, when it was £492,870.

Fruit and vegetable seller Billy Atkinson, 59, outside the abbey in Hexham, Northumberland, which was named as Britain's happiest place to live in 2021. PA

This is higher than the average asking price across Britain of £366,999.

Paul Le Bas, sales business development manager at Millerson sales and letting agents in St Ives, said: “The coastal walks are second to none. From Porthminster round to Clodgy the views are stunning as you look out over the turquoise seas.”

Galashiels in the Scottish Borders came second in this year’s list, and the market town of Woodbridge in Suffolk came third.

Residents of Galashiels scored it particularly highly on the friendliness and politeness of its people, with it scoring top for this across Britain, Rightmove said.

Anglesey was found to be the happiest place to live in Wales.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, said: “This year’s Happy at Home survey really shows that the things that make people happy to live in their area are not so much the physical aspects of that area but more the personal aspects, such as our sense of belonging, the community and the people.

“The last few months have undoubtedly been difficult for many, and as we learned during another difficult period in 2020, this is often when we look to our local area and community for support and happiness.”

Here are Britain’s happiest places to live in 2022, according to Rightmove, followed by the average asking price for a home and the average asking monthly rental price:

1. St Ives, South-West, £523,731, £1,152

2. Galashiels, Scotland, £153,546, £530

3. Woodbridge, East of England, £481,978, £1,196

4. Hexham, North-East, £262,265, £810

5. Perth, Scotland, £179,410, £812

6. Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber, £381,124, £1,327

7. Anglesey, Wales, £324,048, £766

8. Bury St Edmunds, East of England, £334,160, £1,368

9. Stirling, Scotland, £197,075, £990

10. Cirencester, South-West, £382,065, £1,331

11. Richmond-upon-Thames, London, £1,153,347, £3,931

12. Falmouth, South-West, £373,752, £1,289

13. Monmouth, Wales, £331,844, £1,104

14. Leamington Spa, West Midlands, £383,553, £1,274

15. Worcester, West Midlands, £286,250, £1,059

16. Northwich, North-West, £246,995, £942

17. Altrincham, North-West, £615,246, £2,297

18. Macclesfield, North-West, £292,078, £1,146

19. Newbury, South-East, £380,842, £1,364

20. Llandudno, Wales, £260,245, £760

Updated: December 01, 2022, 1:47 AM
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