Richmond has bagged the top spot in Rightmove’s rankings of London’s happiest places to live.
An annual Rightmove study, which polls over 21,000 people in Great Britain, asks residents how they feel about where they live. It covers things like how friendly their neighbours, the general sense of belonging, and the quality of nature and green spaces in the area. Richmond upon Thames came up trumps once again, being crowned the happiest place to live in London, and the tenth happiest place in Britain overall.
It’s probably unsurprising that the gorgeous, village-like borough is always so successful—and perhaps this year more than most. 2020 has encouraged a lot of people to reconsider their priorities when it comes to finding a place to live. The so-called Happy at Home Index found that those who are looking at buying or renting a new home are now placing much greater importance on access to nature and green spaces. And that’s one thing you’re certainly not short of in Richmond. (Now seems like a good time to casually drop into conversation that we have a great guide to the wonderful Richmond Park.)
But it’s not cheap to buy in Richmond, is it? The average house price currently sits at around £870,000, which is way above the general London average of £630,634. Renters, however, might be less taken aback, with the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom property costing around £1,879, compared to the general London average of £2,130. And, if working from home continues post-pandemic, the commute might be less of a hindrance. Just saying…
Behind Richmond in the list of London’s happiest spots is Kensington and Chelsea, which just so happens to be the city’s most expensive borough, followed by Kingston upon Thames, and Waltham Forest. Popular, or ‘happy’, commuter locations include Tonbridge, Guildford, Bishop’s Stortford, and St. Albans.
Moving away from the capital, the overall winner of ‘Happiest Place to Live in Great Britain’ is the idyllic coastal town of St Ives. In second place was Skipton in North Yorkshire, with Leamington Spa in Warwickshire in third.
2020 has been a weird year, but spending more time at home seems to have had a positive impact on how much people appreciate their local area. 36% of people said they like the area they live in more. Rightmove’s resident data property expert Tim Bannister said: “Overall, I think lockdown has enabled people to rediscover what’s on their doorstep, and spending more time in their local areas has made people value their surroundings and communities so much more. This year’s study shows a greater appreciation for green spaces and nature, and a strong correlation between people living in coastal and rural areas and how happy people are where they live.”