New research has unlocked the mystery behind the nation’s happiest property markets revealing where UK buyers should be looking in order to beat the January blues. The research uncovered a surprising truth…
The research combined regional happiness ratings as published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in its personal well-being estimates, with average house prices sourced from the UK House Price Index, to uncover the surprising secret behind the UK’s happiest property markets – that the happiest places to live are directly linked to house prices.
Can Money Buy Happiness?
In fact, the analysis revealed that the areas with the highest happiness rating of 8+ are actually home to the lowest average house price of £284,377.
Furthermore, the research found that areas with a lower happiness score of between 7 and 8 are home to an average house price of £317,519 while those with the lowest happiness scores (below 6) have a higher property price of £377,028.
Upon discovering these statistics, the researchers set out to identify the UK locations that rank above the UK average of 7.45 when it comes to happiness and below the UK benchmark where property prices are concerned.
The research crowned Pendle in Lancashire, with a happiness rating of 8.1 and an average local house price of £141,069, which is less than half of the national average, as the UK’s top location for maximizing happiness and affordability.
Newry Mourne & Down in Northern Ireland with a happiness rating of 8.06 and an average house price of £191,053 and Richmondshire in North Yorkshire with a happiness rating of 7.99 and an average house price of £278,074 were also top contenders.
By contrast, Colchester was home to the lowest happiness score in the UK at 6.76 and an average house price of £330,435, which is 12 per cent higher than the UK average. Tunbridge Wells (happiness score of 6.94) and Lambeth (6.99) also had a below-average happiness score and above-average house prices of £489,846 and £553,424 respectively.
Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, which conducted the research, commented: “They say money can’t buy happiness and this seems to be the case when it comes to climbing the property ladder.
Of course, it could well be the high cost of homeownership in these areas that has zapped the happiness from homebuyers, but the size of home and the area they can afford to live in versus where they might like to live is no doubt a contributing factor.
At the same time, many homebuyers are drawn to an area for work, particularly those living in and around major cities and so this may also have an impact if it’s where they have to be, rather than where they want to be.”
The research that sheds light on the relationship between happiness and house prices in the UK certainly seems to suggest that those wishing to live a happier life should set their sights on buying in more affordable areas.