Would you want to live in the happiest town in Britain? Earlier this year, we published our predictions for where the most popular moving destinations would be in 2024. Among them were the winners of the Times’ annual ‘Best Places to Live in the UK’ ranking, but there’s another shortlist worth considering.
Rightmove’s ‘Happy at Home’ index is an annual survey of residents in the UK to find how happy people are with where they live. This year more than 26,000 people took part. Participants were asked to rank their local area in 13 categories, including a sense of community and access to green spaces.
We’ve looked at what the survey found, as well as whether the happiest town in Britain is affordable to the average buyer and where they might want to move instead.
Is Richmond the happiest town in Britain?
Coming out on top of Rightmove’s survey was Richmond on Thames, in Greater London. The Richmond on Thames area includes the towns of Richmond, Twickenham, Kew and Hampton.
This is the first time an area in greater London has taken the top spot in the survey’s twelve-year history. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan celebrated the achievement, saying ‘I’m delighted for Richmond to win this award. It has so much of what makes London so special – its access to beautiful green spaces, its real sense of community, and an array of shops, cafes and local culture that makes it stand out.’
Local residents scored the area highly for the sense of belonging and community. They also praised the access to world-class green spaces, including two royal parks.
However, the happiest town in Britain is not accessible to everyone. The average asking price for a property in Richmond on Thames is £952,305, more than triple 2023’s national average of £291,000. The average monthly rent in the area is £3,148, more than 50% higher than the Greater London average and close to three times the UK average.
Are there alternatives to the happiest town in Britain?
If Richmond, or another town in the Richmond on Thames area, is out of your price range, don’t worry! The survey identified several places as among the happiest in the UK where house prices are below the national average.
Among them are Skipton and Kendal in the North West of England, Clacton on Sea in the East and Stourbridge in the West Midlands. Most affordable among this year’s top 20 happiest places to live is Galashiels in Scotland. The average home available to buy is listed for £163,634, and the average asking rent is £700 PCM. This is below the average rent for Scotland, let alone the rest of the UK!
Would you move to the happiest town in Britain?
One survey probably isn’t enough to persuade you to choose one particular town to move to. However, the continued popularity of research into quality of life shows that movers are looking for more than just square footage and expected ROI.
If you’re looking at moving home, how important is the happiness of an area to you? Do you think you could love wherever you settle, or does your dream home have everything on the doorstep? Join the conversation on our social media to let us know.