The best places to live in the UK – and how much they will cost you

Thinking of moving? Here are the best places to live in the UK and how much they will cost if you are buying.

If you’re thinking about buying a house or moving, you may be thinking about where the best places to live in the UK are. 

UK house prices fell at their fastest pace since 2020 in November, however mortgage rates remain high, and the rising cost of living might make people wonder if now is a good time to buy a house

These factors might push people’s purchasing plans further into the future, however others might be thinking about moving soon to take advantage of the stamp duty cuts, which have been extended to 2025.  

Online sales and lettings agent Rightmove polled 21,000 people across the country, asking them to rate their towns and cities based on things such as a sense of belonging, community spirit, access to nature and local amenities.  

Concerns around the cost of living crisis – inflation is currently running at a 41-year high of 11.1% – have made people throughout the UK prioritise community support, the survey found.  

“Our Happy at Home survey really shows that the things that make people happy to live in their area are not so much the physical aspects of that area but more the personal aspects, such as our sense of belonging, the community and the people,” said Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert.  

“The last few months have undoubtedly been difficult for many, and as we learned during another difficult period in 2020, this is often when we look to our local area and community for support and happiness,” he says.  

So, where are the best places to live in the UK, and what does it cost to live there? 

The best places to live in the UK 

1. St Ives  

The Cornish harbour town of St Ives took the top spot this year. Residents scored the town highly for community spirit, how comfortable they feel and the sense of belonging.  

The average asking price in the area is £523,731 while the average asking rent per calendar month is £1,152.  

The town’s average asking price is higher than the average asking price across Britain, which is £366,999, by a significant amount. There has been a 6% increase in the average asking price for a home in the town from last year.  

2. Galashiels  

The Scottish town of Galashiels, which has a population of just 12,600 people, was the first Scottish location to rank in the top three since 2016. The borders town scored highly on friendliness and the politeness of its locals.  

It’s also the most affordable place among the top 10: the average asking price is £153,546 and average asking rent per calendar month is just £530.  

3. Woodbridge   The market town of Woodbridge in Suffolk came in third. At £481,978 the average asking price here is also significantly higher than the country’s average.  

The average asking rent per calendar month is £1,196.  

4. Hexham 

The Northumberland town of Hexham was dethroned by St Ives this year, but the two have alternated as the happiest places to live every year since 2019.  

At £262,265 the average asking price for the region is lower than the national average. The average rent pcm is £810.  

5. Perth 

The Scottish city of Perth, which sits on the banks of the River Tay, ranked 5th. It’s also the second most affordable city on the list; the average asking price is £179,410 while the average rent pcm is £812.  

6. Harrogate 

The average asking price for a home in the Victorian spa town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire was £381,124. The average rent per calendar month is £1,327.  

7. Anglesey  

Anglesey was the only place in Wales to feature in the top ten. The island gained the highest score for its local green space and nature – unsurprising given its vast coastline.  

The average asking price was £324,048 and the average rent pcm was £766.  

8. Bury St Edmunds  

Bury St Edmunds, a market town in Suffolk, placed eighth. The average asking price in the town, named after King Edmund and famed its Abbey, is £334,160. With an average asking rent pcm of £1,368, it’s the most expensive place to rent in on the list.  

9. Stirling 

Stirling is the third and final Scottish location to feature in the top 10. The city sits in central Scotland, and the average asking price for the region is £197,075. Average asking rent pcm is £990.  

10. Cirencester  

Cirencester in the southwest of England rounds off the top 10 with an average asking price of £382,065 and an average asking rent pcm of £1,331.

Recommended

The best one-year fixed savings accounts - February 2023
Savings

The best one-year fixed savings accounts - February 2023

Earn almost 5% on one-year fixed savings accounts.
3 Feb 2023
Best regular savings accounts – February 2023
Savings

Best regular savings accounts – February 2023

Looking to stash small amounts away each month? You can now earn as much as 7% on regular saving accounts. We list the ones worth looking at.
3 Feb 2023
Which supermarket is the cheapest?
Personal finance

Which supermarket is the cheapest?

With food inflation hitting almost 17%, we look at which is the cheapest supermarket, plus the Competitions and Market Authority’s plan to introduce u…
3 Feb 2023
After slumping 42% last year, what's next for Scottish Mortgage?
Investment trusts

After slumping 42% last year, what's next for Scottish Mortgage?

After a spectacular couple of decades, the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust fell by 42% last year. We take a look at the trust's performance and dis…
3 Feb 2023

Most Popular

Best savings accounts – February 2023
Savings

Best savings accounts – February 2023

Interest rates on cash savings are making a comeback. We look at the best savings accounts on the market now
3 Feb 2023
When will interest rates go up?
UK Economy

When will interest rates go up?

Interest rates are now at 4%, and they could rise further in the months ahead.
3 Feb 2023
NS&I brings back one-year fixed bonds with highest rates since 2010
Personal finance

NS&I brings back one-year fixed bonds with highest rates since 2010

NS&I’s one-year fixed bonds are back on sale after being pulled off the market in 2019 - but is the rate any good?
1 Feb 2023