Blackburn is the best place in the UK to make a living, new analysis reveals

New analysis by TotallyMoney.com, reveals that Blackburn is the best place in the UK to make a living.

The analysis compared median wages to mortgage repayments, cost of living and the health of the job markets in each town. The calculations focused on working and living in each town, with no points awarded for scenery, culture, or connections to the rest of the UK, which is why places which have commonly been favoured by those who commute into London, like Luton and Brighton, don’t make the top 20.

While London is frequently declared (mostly by its residents) the best city in the UK to live in, the average mortgage repayment here is larger than the median take-home salary, and the cost of living is the highest in the UK. Conversely, in Blackburn, average mortgage repayments are just 21% of the median take-home salary and the cost of living is significantly lower.

Findings from the analysis include:

  • Blackburn is the best place in the UK to make a living, followed by Derby, Cambridge, Sunderland, and Milton Keynes
  • The worst place to make a living in the UK is Gloucester, followed by Rochdale, Blackpool, Newport, and Burnley.
  •  Derby, which ranked 2nd out of 64, claimed its spot in the top 5 with its low cost of living and healthy job market
  •  Cambridge’s low cost of living and high job growth in comparison to Oxford’s saw these top university cities rank number 3 and number 19 respectively
  •  London ranked number 26
  • The UK’s second largest city, Birmingham, ranked 30th out of 64
  •  2017 city of culture Kingston Upon Hull ranked 58th out of 64

Property expert Kate Faulkner said:

“In today’s modern world, people are keen to balance a successful career with a good lifestyle. However, in many areas where there is a strong jobs market, such as London, Oxford and Brighton a well-paid job doesn’t mean you have enough disposable income to achieve this, especially when you take into account the cost of owning a home. For example, the average cost of a repayment mortgage* in London is actually higher than the median salary itself, while in Blackburn, one of the best places to make a living, the mortgage payments are just 21% of the median salary, so there is still lots of money left to have a great social life.
We regularly hear about the issues of ‘affordability’ that the younger generation are facing. What this analysis clearly shows is that it is still possible to strike a balance between work and play and there are towns and cities you can live in with successful economies where homes and a good standard of living are still affordable. So if you want to achieve a great work life balance, it is worth researching the areas identified.”

 *90% loan to value and 4.5% interest rate

TotallyMoney.com has visualised the analysis in a new piece of interactive content http://www.totallymoney.com/best-places-in-the-uk-to-make-a-living/ which allows people to explore all 64 places and see them ranked from best to worst and vice versa.

Alastair Douglas, TotallyMoney.com CEO, said: ”Far too often, only house prices are taken into account when trying to identify the best place to live.  And this can produce some very misleading results.  When we take into consideration job prospects and the cost of living as well as property prices we start to see a very different picture – some of the UK’s less frequently celebrated places start to look much more attractive.”

 

NOTES TO EDITOR

About TotallyMoney.com

TotallyMoney.com, launched in 2007, is the UK’s leading credit-focussed comparison website which sets out to make it simpler for consumers to compare credit cards, loans and mortgages. We believe technology can drive a fairer credit market and better outcomes for consumers.

About the analysis

To create this piece data was collated from the following sources:

Cost of living data from Numbeo (the price of a monthly travel pass, a cinema ticket, monthly gym membership, and a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant); median gross pay from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings; average house price from Land Registry House Price Index; job growth from Centre for Cities: Jobs Outlook; and unemployment from ONS Regional Labour Market.

Ranking calculations were made as follows:

  • Indexed monthly mortgage repayment as % of salary (weight 9)
  • Indexed living cost as % of salary (weight 1)
  • Indexed job growth % (weight 5). Plus, any town with negative job growth, or 0% job growth was penalised by a factor of 5
  • Indexed unemployment % (weight 5)

A breakdown of the results can be found below:

Best places in the UK to make a living

1

Blackburn

2

Derby

3

Cambridge

4

Sunderland

5

Milton Keynes

6

Coventry

7

Warrington

8

Bolton

9

Nottingham

10

Peterborough

11

Portsmouth

12

Aberdeen

13

Bournemouth

14

Plymouth

15

Aldershot

16

Newcastle upon Tyne

17

Mansfield

18

Oxford

19

Liverpool

20

Southampton

21

Leicester

22

Telford

23

Blefton

24

Crawley

25

Swansea

26

London

27

Reading

28

Edinburgh

29

Worthing

30

Birmingham

31

Cardiff

32

Glasgow

33

Barnsley

34

Southend-on-Sea

35

Chatham

36

Stoke-on-Trent

37

Bristol

38

Belfast

39

Preston

40

Wakefield

41

Hastings

42

Manchester

43

Doncaster

44

Leeds

45

Luton

46

York

47

Middlesbrough

48

Northampton

49

Ipswich

50

Sheffield

51

Bradford

52

Birkenhead

100

Wigan

54

Dundee

55

Grimsby

56

Huddersfield

57

Swindon

58

Kingston upon Hull

59

Norwich

60

Burnley

61

Newport

62

Blackpool

63

Rochdale

64

Gloucester

 

About Kate Faulkner

Kate Faulkner is one of the UK’s leading property experts and the author of six property books. Through her website she aims to improve communication between the property industry and consumers, by providing advice on how to buy, sell, rent, invest, renovate, or build a property.

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