Towns and regions across Wales have featured in a number of national polls during the last 12 months, ranking them as among the best places to live in the UK for everything from affordability to general happiness. Here’s a selection of recent surveys and studies that include Welsh cities and counties in the top 10 for factors involving ‘liveability’.
Rightmove, the UK’s largest property rental website, releases its Happy at Home Index every year, ranking the ‘happiest’ places to live in the UK based on characteristics like the friendliness of neighbours, sense of belonging felt by residents and local town amenities. Three Welsh areas featured in the top 10 of the 2021 edition of the survey, with Llandrindod Wells, in Powys, Monmouth, in Monmouthshire, and the Isle of Anglesey (shown in header image) placing fifth, seventh and ninth, respectively.
Two Welsh towns also topped Rightmove’s UK-wide ‘price hotspots’ survey, highlighting the places in the UK that, due to increased demand, have seen the steepest rise in average asking prices for houses. Mountain Ash, in Rhondda Cynon Taff, topped the 2021 poll with a 31 per cent average asking price increase, while Porth, also in Rhondda Cynon Taff, placed second, with a 26 per cent average increase.
But it’s not all about towns and cities. A recent survey by holiday rental company Cottages in Northumberland concluded that for those craving peace and quiet, the Welsh region of Powys is the best place to live in the UK, thanks to its abundance of natural green space and low population density.
Wales wins accolades for its affordability too. According to findings by financial advisory company The Advisor Coach, the city of Swansea, ranks ninth in the cheapest place to rent an apartment in the United Kingdom, based on the price of a one- and three-bedroom flat in the city centre and in the suburbs.
For many, one of the definitive sources on the most liveable cities in the UK comes from The Sunday Times’ annual Best Places to Live list, and in the 2021 edition, Wales was represented through the town of Usk, in Monmouthshire, which placed tenth in the overall rankings of the top places to live. The newspaper describes Usk as a “delightful, convenient little town”, and highlights its strong sense of community as a major factor for its inclusion. The Welsh towns of Aberdyfi, Llandeilo and Narberth were also singled out as great places to live by the publication.
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