To celebrate the International Day of Happiness, we’ve been looking at Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index to find out which areas of Britain are the happiest places to live. Think your hometown will be on the list? Here are the top five happiest locations and how much it’ll cost you to get in on the action.
1. St. Ives, Cornwall
Taking the top spot in the 2020 Happy at Home Index is St. Ives in Cornwall. With its idyllic coastal location, green spaces and friendly community, the residents of St. Ives can lay claim to being the happiest in Britain.
However, a property here doesn’t come cheap. Rightmove revealed that demand for St. Ives homes has increased 120% year-on-year, with the average property price now a staggering £413,414 and the average rental payment for a two-bed property coming in at £719 per month.
2. Skipton, North Yorkshire
Coming in at second is the pretty market town of Skipton in North Yorkshire. Set just south of the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, the town boasts top schools, cosy pubs and is peppered with historical landmarks. Property prices aren’t nearly as dear as St. Ives either, with the average price of a home setting you back £226,130 and the rent for two-bed accommodation averaging £549 per month.
3. Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
Nestled in the West Midlands, Royal Leamington Spa is third on the index. The town is renowned for its beautiful architecture, award-winning green spaces and has even been name the happiest place in Britain in previous years. With that in mind, property prices are slightly towards the higher end of the spectrum, averaging at £335,008. For a two-bed rental property, you can expect to pay around £878 per month.
4. Llandrindod Wells, Powys
Located within the historic boundaries of Radnorshire, this Welsh spa town is surrounded by a wealth of breathtaking scenery. Boasting a 13th century castle, National Nature Reserve and idyllic gardens, it’s a particularly scenic place to live. Average property prices here are a mere £150,963 and you can rent a two-bedroom home for just £422 a month.
5. Perth, Perthshire
One of Scotland’s hidden gems, the city of Perth resides in central Scotland, just an hour away from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Nestled on the River Tay, this city has a historic charm with its medieval architecture and also boasts a vibrant café culture and art scene. House prices here average at £163,303 and two-bed rental accommodation at £556 a month.
Happiness trends from 2020
With many of us spending the past year in lockdown, the most recent Happy at Home Index found that people living in rural and coastal areas felt a greater affinity to their hometowns than those in urban areas, showing a renewed appreciation for their access to green spaces.
In fact, 56% of those looking to move in the next 12 months are now valuing access to green spaces as far more important – a trend that was most noticeable in those aged 18-34.
Overall, the study showed that those living in coastal areas were happiest, with five out of the top twenty happiest places being coastal locations.
The index also showed that our confinement to our local areas has mainly had a positive impact on our attitudes towards where we live, with 36% saying it had improved their outlook and 46% saying there had been no change.
The Happy at Home Index is based on a number of factors ranging from access to essential and non-essential services and artistic and cultural activities to opportunities to develop skills, the local community and the quality of nature and green spaces. The study is based on over 21,000 respondents across Great Britain.
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