St Albans named as one of the UK’s best places to live

PUBLISHED: 13:56 26 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:06 26 January 2019

St Albans is right up there with Orkney and Rutland. Picture: DANNY LOO

St Albans is right up there with Orkney and Rutland. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

St Albans has come ninth in a list of the best places to live in the UK.

The local authority district was the highest ranking East of England area in the 2019 Halifax Quality of Life index, up six places on a year ago.

The list aims to show which UK areas have the highest living standards by ranking their labour and housing markets as well as other key indicators including environment, education, health, personal well-being and leisure.

Orkney topped the 50-strong list, followed by Richmondshire in Yorkshire and the Humber and Rutland in the East Midlands. East Hertfordshire, home to Hertford and Bishop’s Stortford, also made the cut in 14th place, up from 17th a year ago.

28 of the top 50 are now outside Southern England, with eight in the East of England.

The results showed a clear north/south divide however, with those in southern areas tending to have the highest earnings and employment levels as well as longer life expectancy, more sunshine and less rainfall.

Housing is more affordable up north however, with a low house price to earnings ratio. Other positives include low traffic flows, crime rates and fewer people per square kilometre, plus lower average primary school sizes.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “While the South East continues to have the most locations in the top 50, we’ve seen Northern areas perform particularly well on education while they also benefit from lower house prices when compared to average earnings.”

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