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Revealed: The Happiest Place to Live in Britain

When searching for your dream home or the perfect buy-to-let property, wouldn’t it be great to know the happiest place to live near you, so you have a good basis for selecting the best location to invest your hard-earned cash? Where in the UK has the best feeling of community spirit and provides residents with the strongest feeling of belonging? Where in the country do people feel the safest? Where do people earn enough to live comfortably?  Well, now you can find the answers to these key property search questions by consulting the results of a new survey.

It is the charming Northumberland market town of Hexham, known as a ‘tourist gateway to Hadrian’s Wall’, that has been crowned the happiest place to live in Great Britain in this year’s Happy Home Index from Rightmove. Set in the heart of the Tyne Valley, Hexham is a popular commuter town offering all the benefits of peaceful country living with the convenience of a bustling community, great schools and a plethora of valued local amenities.

The property portal’s survey results show that Hexham residents are happiest in all the nation, feeling a great sense of community and belonging in the town, earning enough to live comfortably whilst also being happy with the quality of essential local services.

Furthermore, with the average asking price of a home in the town just £254,237 – nearly £50,000 lower than the national average of £302,808, the powerful reasons for moving there just keep coming!

Taking second place in this year’s edition of Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index is the beautiful spa town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire while Richmond upon Thames in London took third place on the podium; in fact, the stunning London borough has scooped the title of the ‘happiest place in the Capital’ for the fifth consecutive year.

THE TOP TEN HAPPIEST PLACES
RANK PLACE REGION AVERAGE ASKING PRICE AVERAGE ASKING RENT PCM (2 BEDS)
1 Hexham North East £254,237 £605
2 Harrogate Yorkshire and The Humber £341,524 £776
3 Richmond upon Thames Greater London £815,717 £1,723
4 Skipton Yorkshire and The Humber £233,274 £622
5 Llandrindod Wells Wales £145,016 £478
6 Altrincham North West £520,899 £915
7 Monmouth Wales £310,050 £665
8 Dorchester South West £295,124 £799
9 Sevenoaks South East £684,806 £1,241
10 Southport North West £209,360 £609

The Scottish town of Galashiels, which secured the highest score for nature and green spaces in Great Britain, was voted the happiest place to live in Scotland, while Llandrindod Wells topped the Welsh list after boasting one of the best community spirits in the study.

Rightmove’s annual Happy at Home Index surveyed 22,000 residents living across 194 areas in Great Britain to assess how happy they are where they live, based on 12 happiness factors, from how friendly the neighbours are and how good the local services are, to the level of community spirit and the quality of cultural activities in the area, as outlined in the table below.

                                                         HAPPINESS MEASURES           
1 I feel a sense of community spirit
2 I feel a sense of belonging
3 I feel safe
4 I earn enough to live comfortably
5 I can be myself
6 The people are friendly and polite
7 Sports and recreational activities
8 Artistic and cultural activities
9 Opportunities to develop skills
10 Nature and green spaces
11 Essential local services (doctors, schools)
12 Non-essential amenities (shops, restaurants)

The 2019 edition of the Happy at Home Index, also found that the South West is the happiest region in the UK, followed by the South East and the East of England.

HAPPIEST REGIONS IN GREAT BRITAIN
RANK REGION
1 South West
2 South East
3 East of England
4 Wales
5 Scotland
6 East Midlands
7 Yorkshire and The Humber
8 North East
9 Greater London
10 West Midlands

Rightmove’s insights expert Lydia Yao, said: “Year after year, the factors that influence happiness are determined by how people feel living in an area, and the harmony of the community. 2019 is no different, with a sense of belonging once again being the main driver of happiness for residents across Great Britain.” 

Bob Hull, Mayor of Hexham, added: “We have a really strong sense of community up here, which I think is a major reason why residents feel so happy living in Hexham. We have a community-owned cinema and a thriving theatre and arts centre. Our parks have won various Green Flag awards and we’re just half an hour from Newcastle and a major airport. We also boast lots of cultural heritage; the town is a gateway to Hadrian’s Wall, and we have more than 200 listed buildings, which is one of the highest ratios per building of towns this size. Then, of course, there’s the 13th Century Hexham Abbey that dates to 674 and is one of the finest cathedrals in the country.”

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Alex Wright, Editor