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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Rightmove finds its happy (there are pasties and cream teas)

What’s the happiest place in Britain? Rightmove has the answer.

In a new ‘Happy At Home’ index calculated by the portal and tapping into the current Coronavirus stay-at-home restrictions, the beautiful Cornish port of St Ives comes out on top.

Residents of the Cornish town are happier than any other community with their local area’s nature and green spaces, while locals there have also rated their neighbours as the friendliest in the country.

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The average asking price of a home in the picturesque seaside town is £413,414 - some five per cent up on this time in 2019 and 19 per cent higher than five years ago.

Demand for property in St Ives has also soared 120 per cent compared to this time last year.

Rightmove’s survey, involving over 21,000 respondents, found that coastal areas in general are where people feel happiest where they live.

Five of the top 20 happiest places this year are coastal locations. As well as St Ives, these are Falmouth, Weymouth, Plymouth, and Poole – all in the South West.

Furthermore, people living in rural and coastal areas were found to be happier with where they live than respondents living in cities and urban areas, which reflects a nationwide trend of people desiring better access to outdoor spaces.

The study also discovered that people living in rural and coastal locations were more likely to have developed a greater affinity with their local area during the initial lockdown period, with our study suggesting that access to green spaces made people more appreciative of where they live.

As has been well-documents in recent months, of those who plan to buy or rent in the next 12 months no fewer than 56 per cent claim they now place greater importance on access to nature and green spaces when deciding on the area and home they want to live in.

This trend is most notable amongst younger home-movers in the 18 to 34 age group. 

Over a third say they now like their area more, almost half say there’s been no change in how they feel, and only 18 per cent like their area less.

The 10 factors measured by Rightmove for its study range from how friendly the neighbours are and how good the local services are, to the sense of belonging and the quality of nature and green spaces in the area.

Richmond upon Thames finished tenth in this year’s national table, whilst also being named London’s happiest place to live for the sixth consecutive year.

Llandrindod Wells was named the happiest place to live in Wales and also returned the highest score across Great Britain for residents feeling able to be themselves.

Perth tops the Scottish list and boasts one of the strongest community spirits, according to our study.

Overall, the 20 happiest places to live in Great Britain in 2020 are: St Ives, Skipton, Leamington Spa, Llandrindod Wells, Perth, Kendal, Stratford-upon-Avon, Dorchester, Harrogate, Richmond upon Thames, Falmouth, Hexham, Weymouth, Shrewsbury, Tonbridge, Plymouth, Poole, Northwich, Barnstaple, and Guildford.

Jessie Wright, a senior negotiator at Bradleys Estate Agents in St Ives, says: “We’ve all definitely become more appreciative of our hometown over the lockdown period. The freedom to go for a swim in the sea or a run along the beach when we were only allowed one hour of outdoor exercise made lots of people realise that we have so much space to enjoy, coupled with wonderful countryside scenery and stunning beaches.”

THE TOP 20 HAPPIEST PLACES

RANK

PLACE

REGION

AVERAGE ASKING PRICE

AVERAGE ASKING RENT PCM (2 BEDS)

1

St Ives

South West

£413,414

£719

2

Skipton

Yorkshire & The Humber

£226,130

£549

3

Leamington Spa

West Midlands

£335,008

£878

4

Llandrindod Wells

Wales

£150,963

£422

5

Perth

Scotland

£163,303

£556

6

Kendal

North West

£231,597

£624

7

Stratford-upon-Avon

West Midlands

£354,337

£807

8

Dorchester

South West

£325,903

£801

9

Harrogate

Yorkshire & The Humber

£336,968

£821

10

Richmond upon Thames

London

£869,864

£1,879

11

Falmouth

South West

£310,540

£912

12

Hexham

North East

£276,246

£608

13

Weymouth

South West

£279,484

£690

14

Shrewsbury

West Midlands

£255,843

£613

15

Tonbridge

South East

£453,687

£1,056

16

Plymouth

South West

£209,311

£668

17

Poole

South West

£406,774

£989

18

Northwich

North West

£215,808

£551

19

Barnstaple

South West

£232,323

£589

20

Guildford

South East

£549,479

£1,188

                                                         HAPPINESS MEASURES           

1

I feel a sense of community spirit

2

I feel a sense of belonging

3

I can be myself

4

The people are friendly and polite

5

Sports and recreational activities

6

Artistic and cultural activities

7

Opportunities to develop skills

8

Nature and green spaces

9

Essential local services (doctors, schools)

10

Non-essential amenities (shops, restaurants)

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