Super St Albans still one of the best places to live
PUBLISHED: 10:37 04 September 2014 | UPDATED: 10:37 04 September 2014
St Albans is still super according to new research which shows once again that the city is high in a list of the best places to live in the UK.
Not only did it come 10th in the Telegraph’s best places to live list, which assessed 7,137 areas across England and Wales, but it is also considered the ideal place to live within commuter range of London.
The index used official data on average weekly incomes, crime rates, health, home ownership and economic activity to rank different towns and cities across the nation.
St Albans, which went viral with the Twitter hashtag #superstalbans, ranked best for income, at number 28, health, which was 41, and crime, which was 93.
Home ownership was ranked at 635, while economic activity was placed at 1,124.
David Chadwick, from Collinson Hall in St Albans, echoed the research findings when asked why people choose to live here: “We have excellent local transport links, particularly the train into London, as well as easy access to the M1, M25 and airports.
“We also have excellent local schooling including primary and secondary schools – both state and private. St Albans is also a very pretty place to live and is very safe too.”
Cheryl Whiteman said she loved living in Bernard’s Heath, which the Telegraph identified as the best place to live in the district, due to its walking distance proximity to the city centre and green space for walking the dog.
“It’s close to great schools and has a great train service to get into London. I love the community feel of our area and we have the weekly market plus the farmers’ markets. St Albans is also very pretty and safe.”
She added that she was first attracted to living here as it was, “so lovely and easy to commute to London: having lived in many different places and visited many places in England, I would agree that St Albans is hard to beat as a place to live and raise a family.”
But getting a property in one of the best places to live could prove tricky, as two neighbouring towns to St Albans were recently listed as having the biggest house price rises in the past 20 years in an analysis carried out by the Sunday Times.
The research used information from the Land Registry and looked at residential property sales across 1,147 towns, cities and villages since 1995.
The top 10 areas with the greatest price increases included Radlett, which was number eight on the list with an average price of £438,000 and Harpenden, which was number 10 at £428,000.
The average price increase for homes across England and Wales was on average £135,000 per home, when adjusted for inflation.
The area at number one in the findings was Cobham in Surrey, which saw an average price of £647,000 and had a biggest property sale at £4.6 million.
Lucien Cook, of Savills estate agency, said the soaring house prices in the home counties was a “halo effect”.
He maintained that the figures showed the extent to which prime towns and super suburbs in a halo around London had become wealth magnets, and often developed their own micro-markets.
In those locations domestic wealth and overseas money was chasing a limited pool of housing stock and the laws of supply and demand had driven strong price growth, he added.