Big city suburbs win out as most desirable place to live

01/03/2017
  • In England, CH63, Bebington, Wirral has retained its top spot as the most desirable place to live and work. In 2015 there were just three southern Postcodes compared to six this year.
  • In Scotland, three-quarters of the most desirable places to live and work are around Glasgow. Residents have shorter working hours and shorter commute times as well as access to local services, better schools and lower crime rates.
  • In Wales, this year has seen a huge rise in the number of CF, Cardiff Postcodes compared to 2015. More than half of the most desirable places to live and work in Wales this year are located around Cardiff while in 2015, just two locations (CF24 and CF64) featured in the list.
  • In Northern Ireland, the top locations remain around Belfast and Craigavon which benefit from easy access to local services, high employment rates and a strong education system. BT65, Craigavon, County Armagh retains its top spot, for the second year, thanks to a good work-life balance.

Royal Mail today releases an update of its 2015 study to find the most desirable places to live and work in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales based on Postcode.

The study, which was undertaken by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), looked back at the past two years and calculated the most desirable areas based on a range of factors including good schools, access to green spaces, good employment prospects, working hours, affordable housing and average commuting times.

The research was conducted by reviewing a number of data sources at the local level, including the 2011 Census, the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Indices of Multiple Deprivation, General Land Use database and numerous releases from the Office for National Statistics.

Areas around large northern cities and along the south coast in England enjoy best work-life balance

CH63, Bebington, Wirral has retained its top spot as the most desirable place to live and work in England. Located close to the River Mersey, Bebington residents enjoy the ideal balance of living close to work, having access to good schools and high employment rates.

NR6, Norwich in the East of England makes an appearance at number two, after IP5, Ipswich slips five places to seventh position. The inclusion of NR6 in Norwich leads an increase in the number of areas in the south included in the top ten. In 2015, there were just three Postcodes from the south compared to six this year. Good local schools and lower unemployment helped facilitate the change.

Top ten most desirable places to live in England
1. CH63 – Bebington, Wirral
2. NR6 – North and North West Norwich
3. BH18 – Broadstone, Bournemouth
4. M33 – Sale, Greater Manchester
5. PO32 – East Cowes, Isle of Wight
6. SO53 – Eastleigh, Hampshire
7. IP5 – Ipswich, Suffol
8. LS18 – Horsforth, Leeds
9. S18 – Dronfield, North East Derbyshire
10. RG6 – Earley, Reading

Glasgow suburbs dominate Scotland’s most desirable places to live and work

Three-quarters of the areas in the Scottish most desirable places to live and work are around Glasgow. Shorter working hours and shorter commute times as well as access to local services, better schools and lower crime rates, helped boost these locations desirability.

Newcomers this year include HS1, Stornoway and KW15, Kirkwall who are both located on islands in the far north of Scotland. They make an appearance thanks to a good work-life balance and high employment rate.

This year sees an absence of Edinburgh Postcodes – in 2015, there were three compared to zero in 2017. This is partially due to housing affordability concerns.

Top ten most desirable places to live in Scotland
1. G78 – Neilson, East Renfrewshire
2. G64 – Bishopbriggs
3. G66 – Lenzie/Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire
4. G76 – Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire
5. G62 – Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire
6. G46 – Giffnock, East Renfrewshire
7. G61 – Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire
8. G77 – Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire
9. HS1 – Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
10. KW15 – Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Cardiff and Swansea come up trumps in Wales

This year has seen a huge rise in the number of CF Postcodes compared to 2015. More than half of the most desirable places to live and work in Wales this year are located around Cardiff while in 2015, just two locations (CF24 and CF64) featured in the list. As with Glasgow in the Scottish top ten, this shift is a result of shorter working hours and shorter commute times as well as access to better local schools.

Top ten most desirable places to live in Wales
1. CF63 – Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
2. CF24 – Cardiff Central
3. SA1 – Swansea
4. SA5 – Swansea
5. SA72 – Pembroke Dock
6. CF3 – Cardiff South
7.CF62 – Barry, Vale of Glamorgan..
8. CF5 – Cardiff West
9. CF11 – Cardiff Central
10. SA6 – Morriston, Swansea

Craigavon in County Armagh is the most desirable in Northern Ireland

Unlike England, Scotland and Wales, the top five Postcode districts in Northern Ireland all appeared in the 2015 ranking, albeit in a different order. The top locations remain around Belfast and Craigavon in County Armagh which benefit from easy access to local services, high employment rates and a strong education system. Additionally people in these areas have a shorter commute and many work fewer than 50 hours a week.

BT65, Craigavon in County Armagh retains its top spot, for the second year, thanks to a good work-life balance.

Top five most desirable places to live in Northern Ireland
1. BT65 – Craigavon, County Armagh
2. BT16 – Dundonald, Belfast
3. BT64 – Craigavon-Lurgan
4. BT66 – Lurgan, County Armagh
5. BT10 – Finaghy, Belfast

Steve Rooney, Head of Royal Mail’s Address Management Unit, said: “Royal Mail delivers to nearly 30 million addresses across the UK, connecting communities and businesses. This new report builds on the study that we commissioned two years ago and provides unique insight into the most desirable places to live and work, through the lens of the postcode.”

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