DECEMBER 18, 2014 | BY A & S Property
Hampshire district tops Quality of Life Survey for fourth successive year
For a record fourth year in a row, the peaceful and serene district of Hart in north east Hampshire has topped the 2014 Halifax Quality of Life Survey for the most desirable place to live.
Hart achieved top spot based on its high performance in a number of different measures. These included residents’ health and life expectancy, overall wellbeing, employment, a low crime rate, relatively good weather, and good broadband internet access.
In Hart, over 97% of residents reported good or fairly good health, whilst average life expectancy is the joint highest in the UK (83 years for men). Furthermore, the region has a high rate of employment, with four out of five 16-64 year olds in work. And they’re making decent money as well, with many inhabitants enjoying high incomes – average weekly earnings are £839, which is 33% higher than the UK average of £629.
With one of the lowest crime rates in the country, residents live in relative security. They also benefit from a good level of broadband access (95%) and enjoy a relatively good climate, with less rainfall per year than the national average and more weekly sunshine hours (32.5 hours against the national average of 29.5 hours).
However, the cost of living in Hart is much higher than in many other parts of the UK, with an average house price that is 7.4 times the average annual pre-tax local income.
“Hart tops the Halifax quality of life survey for the fourth successive year,” Martin Ellis, economist at Halifax, commented. “The leafy Hampshire district scores highly on several indicators such as: health, life expectancy, employment, average earnings, school results, and even the weather.”
He added: “A regional comparison shows many areas in southern England score strongly in categories such as the labour markets and health. Northern areas tend to perform well on education and lower house prices in relation to earnings. In Scotland and Wales, several areas enjoy low traffic flows and burglary rates.”
Once more, the top 50 places to live in the UK were dominated by the South East. Over half of the places on the list were found in this region, followed next by the East of England which bagged eleven of the top 50 spots.
Generally, southern areas received higher ratings for weekly earnings, the weather, health and life expectancy, whilst Northern areas scored well on education, lower house prices in relation to earnings and lower traffic flows.