Whether you’re looking for a good school for your children, a place with plenty of job prospects, or a community where you’ll be surrounded by happy neighbours, lots of factors come into play when deciding where you want to live. 

To reveal which cities in England are the most well-equipped for their residents, CIA Landlords has analysed 30 of the most populated cities in the country, taking into account metrics including the number of schools and hospitals, employment rates, happiness levels, and the cost of renting and buying in each city.

Norwich is revealed to be the city best set up for society

Thanks to good job prospects and some very happy residents, our research has revealed Norwich is the city best set up for its community. 

Those living in the city enjoy high employment rates of 81.4%, and when asked how satisfied they were with their lives, residents gave an average score of 7.5 out of 10. It’s relatively affordable to live in the city too. Monthly rental on a one-bed flat in the city centre will set you back just £857.14 on average, while the cost of purchasing your own property in Norwich is around £251,306. 

Newcastle has come in second being set up well for health and education. The northern city has 100 schools on offer, along with 6 hospitals, despite having a small population of just 192,382 people. The city is also home to some of the happiest people in England, with residents rating their life satisfaction 7.69 out of 10. Living in Newcastle is even cheaper than Norwich, with monthly rates averaging £815.55 and house prices as low as £195,921. Those in Newcastle may have a harder time finding work though, as the city has an employment rate of just 71.2%. 

Southampton follows closely behind in third, offering residents 2.44 hospitals per every 100,000 people, as well as one of the cheapest public transport systems of all cities analysed, with prices for a monthly pass averaging £55 per month. Job prospects in Southampton are also good, with a rate of 80.2% across the city. However, life satisfaction rates are a little lower in the coastal city, with residents only giving themselves a happiness score of 7.44 out of 10.

 London is ranked as the city least equipped for its residents

Despite all that the capital city offers, including 115 hospitals and a staggering 2,591 schools, the cost of living and the property market in London leaves much to be desired. Rent for a one-bed flat in the city is as high as £2,061.18 on average, and those looking to purchase a home in London are looking at costs of £538,116. Despite the extensive public transport system London has, getting around the city is expensive, as London has the highest monthly transport cost of all cities analysed (£160). 

Portsmouth also ranks poorly, with the city offering its 194,150 residents just 3 hospitals, and 61 schools. Unemployment is also quite high in Portsmouth, with employment rates reaching only 74.3%. Perhaps this lack of amenities and job opportunities are what is keeping house prices down though, as monthly rent on a one-bed apartment is just £818.33, while house prices sit at £259,103. 

We found that Reading and Nottingham come joint third on the list of cities least set up for society. Reading has just one hospital for all 318,014 of its residents, and those with families may struggle with just 60 schools to choose from. 

While it’s relatively cheap to rent (£765) and buy (£194,736) in Nottingham, the city has an employment rate of just 73.5%, and there are just two hospitals for 321,500 residents. As with Portsmouth, this lack of amenities could be contributing to the low property prices in the city.

Blackpool named the best city for renters

The cost of housing is one of the main factors that many people take into consideration if they’re contemplating a fresh start in a new city. 

According to our research, Blackpool is the best city for renters, with a one-bed apartment in the city centre averaging just £433.33 per month. Kingston upon Hull has come out as the second cheapest place to rent a property, with monthly rates only slightly higher than Blackpool at £452.50. Bradford is also a good option for those looking for affordable rent, with a one-bed apartment costing around £537.50 for the month.

Rank City Average rental price for a one-bedroom flat in the city centre
1 Blackpool £433.33
2 Kingston upon Hull £452.50
3 Bradford £537.50
4 Derby £550.00
5 Preston £566.67
6 Stoke on Trent £662.50
7 Leicester £725.00
8 Sheffield £730.00
9 Plymouth £741.67
10 Wolverhampton £750.00

Kingston upon Hull is the best city for those looking to purchase a property

Those looking to put down roots and purchase their own home will find the most affordable property prices in Kingston upon Hull, where average house prices are as low as £137,038. Along with being a great location for renters, Blackpool is also a good place for those wanting to buy a house, with house prices sitting around £137,586.

Rank City Average price to buy a home
1 Kingston upon Hull £137,038.00
2 Blackpool £137,586.00
3 Sunderland £142,610.00
4 Stoke on Trent £145,132.00
5 Preston £160,754.00
6 Bradford £175,857.00
7 Liverpool £180,495.00
8 Nottingham £194,736.00
9 Newcastle £195,921.00
10 Wolverhampton £206,287.00

Sunderland is the most profitable city for landlords

Taking into account average mortgage prices and the cost of rent in each city, our research has also revealed which locations are the most profitable for landlords.

Thanks to its high rental fees, and low house prices, Sunderland has been revealed as the most profitable city for landlords. With monthly mortgage repayments averaging just £528.19, and rent in the city sitting around £1,200, landlords can expect to make around £671.81 in profit from their renters. 

Those looking to buy-to-let in Stoke-on-Trent could make around £124.97 in profit, and following very closely behind is Liverpool, with potential profits of £123.38. The research has shown that Luton is the least profitable city for landlords, with monthly mortgage repayments (£1,058.67) far outweighing what a landlord can make on rent (£766.67).

For anyone contemplating buying a house to rent out, even the best tenants can be unreliable at times, so good landlord insurance is also important for keeping costs down and ensuring you are protected should any damage or financial loss occur.

Newcastle is home to the happiest residents

When contemplating a move, we all hope that we’ll be happy wherever we end up living, but where you settle could actually have an impact on your well-being. While happiness levels will vary depending on a number of personal factors, our research has revealed where in England is home to the most satisfied people. 

With an overall life satisfaction score of 7.69 out of 10, Newcastle’s residents are some of the most content in the country. Following closely behind are those in Luton (7.67) and Sheffield (7.66). On the other end of the spectrum, Sunderland has been found to be home to the least happy people, with residents registering an average happiness score of just 7.23 out of 10.

Rank City Life satisfaction rating
1 Newcastle upon Tyne 7.69
2 Luton 7.67
3 Sheffield 7.66
4 Leicester 7.57
5 Southend-on-Sea 7.55
6 Leeds 7.54
7 Dudley 7.52
7= Stoke-on-Trent 7.52
8 Wolverhampton 7.5
8= Norwich 7.5
8= Birmingham 7.5
9 Bradford 7.47
10 London 7.45

While profitability is very important, landlords who are looking to purchase property to rent out need to take into consideration how well-equipped the city is. Make sure you thoroughly research what a location can offer its residents, in order to ensure that renters will be enticed to the city for years to come. 

Sources and methodology

We created an index to determine the best locations in England to raise a child, based on the top 30 most populated cities.

The metrics considered for each location were:

Each location was awarded an overall index score based on these metrics, then ranked from highest to lowest score.

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