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Looking for your forever home? These are the top UK cities to invest in property

Looking for your forever home? These are the top UK cities to invest in property
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If you’re on a mission to find your forever home but haven’t settled on somewhere, you’re in luck. Here’s a rundown of the top UK cities to invest in and live happily ever after.

What is a forever home?

What makes a forever home is pretty subjective. Bizarrely, the term itself has proven divisive. Far from being an innocuous little phrase to describe an idea, some commentators on online forums (that shall remain nameless) have called the term ‘babyish and naïve’ as well as ‘nauseatingly smug and twee’. 

After a bit of digging, it still isn’t clear exactly where the term comes from. Perhaps with the rise of property programmes like Grand Designs and Location, Location, Location, it’s a concept and phrase that’s simply seeped into our collective consciousness through osmosis. 

But whether you love it or hate it, most of us will have an idea of what we want our forever home’ to offer, wherever that may be. 

Find your forever home in these top UK cities

So, which part of the UK would make the perfect backdrop for your forever home?

Well, according to research by retirement products and services website Bequests, three of the top five cities are in Wales.

Swansea, Cardiff and Newport all tick the box as forever home locations. Plus, with house prices well below the national average (£252,000 as of November 2020) property in one of these cities could be a lot more affordable than you think.  

To get their results, Bequests scored major UK cities out of ten according to the number of good or outstanding schools, the crime rate per 1,000 and the number of GPs per 100,000 patients.

Average house sizes and prices were also taken into account, as were the number of years people lived in the same property. Those scores were then calculated to give each city a score out of ten.

Based on the data, Swansea took the number one spot scoring 7.7 out of ten. Swansea also got top marks for the percentage of schools rated good or outstanding (an impressive 99%).

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But the Welsh coastal city isn’t just full of great schools, it’s one of the safest too. Recorded crime in Swansea stands at 77.75 per 1,000 population, the second-lowest figure after Coventry (74.23 per 1,000).

And if you’re feeling a little under the weather, that’s taken care of too. Swansea is in the top five for the number of active GPs per 100,000 patients (79, compared to Edinburgh, which took the top spot with 125).

If you don’t fancy Swansea or your Cymraeg is a bit rusty, here are all the cities that made the top ten:

  1. Swansea
  2. Belfast
  3. Cardiff
  4. Newport
  5. Sunderland
  6. Liverpool
  7. Preston
  8. Plymouth
  9. Stoke-on-Trent
  10. Birmingham

…But perhaps not these

Of course, where there’s a top ten, there’s a bottom ten too. And based on the criteria analysed, the bottom ten looks like this:

  1. Reading
  2. Edinburgh
  3. Bristol
  4. Southend
  5. Southampton
  6. Aberdeen
  7. Milton Keynes
  8. Norwich
  9. Portsmouth
  10. Ipswich

Find your forever home in London

Despite the fact that many of us are now thinking about life outside of cities, if you just can’t contemplate living anywhere other than the capital, Bequests also scored London boroughs for their forever home worthiness, and the results might surprise you.

According to the scores, Tower Hamlets came out top. The crime rate here sits well below the worst offender (100.94 per 1,000 vs 796.56 per 1,000 for the City of London). The borough is also in the top five for active GPs per 100,000 patients (59 vs. the top scorer City of London with 65). Not only that, schools in Tower Hamlets have something to brag about with 97% rated good or outstanding. 

London’s top five forever home boroughs are:

  1. Tower Hamlets
  2. Hackney
  3. Bromley
  4. Lewisham
  5. Bexley

And the bottom five are:

  1. City of London
  2. Westminster
  3. Kensington and Chelsea
  4. Barking and Dagenham
  5. Hillingdon

Unsurprisingly, a common feature of the bottom five was cost, with average prices considerably over the national average. Typically, you also get less space for your money unless you live in Kensington and Chelsea where residents enjoy an average property size of 117m² (but with average property prices over £2 million, you’d expect some space).

Home sweet home wherever you choose to be

Whatever your forever home looks like, stay up to date with the latest money news. And for help climbing the property ladder, take a look at our guide to UK mortgage deals. 

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