Best places to live for families

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If most parents were asked what factors might be involved in choosing where they’d ideally like to live, there’s a high likelihood all three of the following ‘quality of life’ indicators would be included; good schools, low crime rates and a decent selection of 3-bedroom family homes.iStock_000008235598XSmall

Recent research by property group Savills used exactly this straightforward, understandable approach to find the best places for families in England to live.

Lovely countryside can mean pricier housing

Savills research found that the best places a family can move to and raise children are in rural or semi-rural parts of the country.

However, families are not the only ones who want to live in such areas, so they often tend to have housing stock which is less affordable than elsewhere.

Indeed, Savills found that the pressures of affordability and employment lead to higher concentrations of families living in urban boroughs, where there are often higher crime rates and a poorer selection of housing stock than in leafier towns and villages.

And the winner is… Rushcliffe in Notts

If there were no restrictions due to employment or sociological and cultural reasons, families all over the country should be queuing up to live in Rushcliffe, in Nottinghamshire, which tops the list.

The schools are good, crime almost non-existent and 3-bed houses nice and affordable.

Pricier if there are already lots of families

Out of the local authorities with the highest number of family households, Chiltern in Buckinghamshire gets the highest marks. However, here the price of an average 3-bedroom home was £392,000 at the time the research was conducted, more than twice that of the same type of home in Rushcliffe.

Other places in the top ten with a high number of families, which also have very good schools and relatively low crime rates, are even more expensive, such as St Albans and Three Rivers in Hertfordshire.

Here you’ll pay 38% more for a 3-bed home than in other areas with the highest concentration of families.

Below are the top ten best places for families to live and the price of an average 3-bedroom home in each; one list shows those areas with the most families and the other where this isn’t a factor.

Top ten places for family-living with a high proportion of families:

Chiltern (Bucks) – £391,803

Wokingham (Berks) – £303,733

Hart (Hants) – £289,258

St Albans (Herts) – £422,914

Three Rivers (Herts) – £410,902

South Cambs – £278,908

Uttlesford (Essex) – £305,510

Trafford (Greater Manchester) – £222,208

East Herfordshire – £342,525

Epsom and Ewell (Surrey) – £376,739

Top ten places for family-living (irrespective of the number of families already living there):

Rushcliffe (Notts) – Average 3-bed house costs £175, 386

South Northamptonshire – £238,189

Chiltern (Bucks) – £391,803

Wokingham (Berks) – £303,733

Ribble Valley (Lancs) – £231,388

Eden (Cumbria) – £220,841

Broadland (Norfolk) – £187,276

Wirral (Merseyside) – £159,697

Hart (Hants) – £289,258

North Kesteven (Lincs) – £158,539

How your home insurance might be lower in these areas

Another benefit of living in an area which is more family-friendly, with lower crime rates, is that your home insurance premiums should be less than for a similar home elsewhere.

Crime rates are a major factor when insurers work out how much to charge you for your home cover; so move to an area with fewer thieves and you could save hundreds on your cover.

Policy Expert

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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.