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St Ives in Cornwall crowned as the happiest place to live in the UK

Rebecca Goodman
Written By:
Rebecca Goodman

St Ives in Cornwall, where average house prices are £523,731, is officially the happiest place in the UK to live, according to Rightmove.

It took the spot from last year’s number one, Hexam, which moved to the fourth spot with average property prices of £262,265

In second place was Galashiels in Scotland, where average homes are £153,546. This is the first time since 2016 that a Scottish area has been in the top three.

Third place went to Woodbridge in Suffolk, where average house prices are £481,978.

In London, the happiest place to live was Richmond-upon-Thames with house prices at an average of £1,153,347. It was the only location in the list of 20 in the capital.

In Wales, Anglesey, where average property prices are £324,048, took the seventh spot in the Happy at Home index which was been running for 11 years. Monmouth came in 13th and Llandudno in 20th, with average house prices of £331,844 and £260,245 respectively.

Over 21,000 people were included in this year’s study and asked about how they feel about where they call home.

Gardens most important for homebuyers

Two thirds of those asked said they work from home for at least part of the week. The most important factor, picked by the majority of respondents, in making someone happy with their home area was a sense of belonging to an area and the local community.

When buying a home, a garden was the most important factor in their decision, while for renters their biggest concern was how much the energy bills would cost.

One in five renters and 16% of buyers said they planned to move in the next year to get better value for money. One in 10 renters and 12% of buyers said they were moving to lower their energy bills.

The data showed that both buyers and renters had become more flexible with where they lived, largely because of the ability to work from home.

Community and local people make people happy in an area

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, said: “This year’s 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.

“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.”