The Most Affordable and Happiest Places to Live
By |Published On: 17th August 2015|

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The Most Affordable and Happiest Places to Live

By |Published On: 17th August 2015|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

Often when places are ranked based on house price affordability, they are not the most desirable areas to live. A new map shows where the most affordable and happiest spots to live in the country are.

Hampton International and the Telegraph’s map allows users to locate areas with the cheapest homes and the happiest residents, based on house price-to-income ratios and the Life Satisfaction Index by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

There seems to be a trend running through the top ten local authority areas where affordability and happiness match; they are often rural and miles from London.

Head of Residential Research at Hamptons, Johnny Morris, states: “Housing markets close to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty top the list as happiest and affordable places to live. Life in the country, a good view and not too many neighbours seem to be the secret formula to happiness.”

Top ten areas for affordability and happiness


Area Average house price (two-bed property)

House price-to-income ratio

1 Allerdale £90,000 3:4
2 Ribble Valley £134,000 3:6
3 Copeland £79,000 2
4 Staffordshire Moorlands £115,000 4:2
5 Stockton-on-Tees £89,000 3:4
6 North Lincolnshire £92,000 3:3
7 Darlington £79,000 3
8 East Cambridgeshire £173,000 4
9 Stafford £121,000 4:3
10 Eilean Siar £109,500 4:4

Two areas in the top three are in Cumbria – Allerdale and Copeland.

Allerdale is within a national park, the Lake District, and is found on the Solway Coast. Residents enjoy beaches, lakes, mountains and the ancient market town of Cockermouth.

Ribble Valley is the largest area in Lancashire and is one of the least densely populated parts of the country. It includes the Forest of Bowland – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and the historic town of Clitheroe.

Morris says: “Picturesque countryside seems to be a defining feature for many areas of the top ten. Staffordshire Moorlands is part of the Peak District, North Lincolnshire boasts the Humberhead Peatland National Nature Reserve and Stockton-on-Tees has the Portrack Marsh Nature Reserve, the last remaining wetland on the Lower Tees.”

Included in the top ten is East Cambridgeshire, where homes are still cheap compared to the rest of the South East, but it is close enough to London or Cambridge for locals to earn higher salaries before commuting back to their countryside homes.

Top ten expensive areas where people are happy


Area Average house price (two-bed property)

House price-to-income ratio

1 Chichester £240,000 9:3
2 New Forest £218,000 7:6
3 Purbeck £216,000 9:7
4 Winchester £254,000 7:8
5 Mid Sussex £235,000 7:7
6 Waverly £292,000 7:6
7 Lewes £239,000 8:1
8 Uttlesford £244,000 5:1
9 Mole Valley £312,000 9:4
10 Rochford £221,000 7:6

Charming market towns in the South East feature heavily in the list of the most expensive areas to live with the happiest locals.

“It seems for the residents, their investment is paying off though, with life satisfaction scores amongst the highest in the country,” notes Morris.

Top ten expensive areas where residents are not happy


Area Average house price (two-bed property)

House price-to-income ratio

1 Haringey £375,000 6:6
2 Lewisham £298,000 6:3
3 Brentwood £261,000 4
4 Brent £326,000 6:6
5 East Hampshire £235,000 6:8
6 Oxford £274,000 6:7
7 Ealing £360,000 6:6
8 Hammersmith and Fulham £618,000 6:4
9 Enfield £266,000 6:6
10 Guildford £287,000 6:2

Morris adds: “City living seems to take its toll on happiness, six of the ten least happy and most expensive areas are in London.”1 

Guildford is an area experiencing extremely busy commuter trains, which are a source of stress.

Use the map to find out the average house price, the house price-to-income ratio and the happiness rating of each local authority area. The areas in which prices are cheapest and locals are the happiest are in yellow. Find it here: 


About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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