A new study has revealed Birmingham, Cornwall, and Leicester, to be the most searched for areas in the UK to buy a house.
The property experts at Global House Prices analysed the number of online searches in the UK between January and March 2022 relating to locations and property buying. They then averaged the number of searches across that period to create a definitive list of the top 10 cities to search for a house.
Birmingham, Leicester, and Cornwall (though not technically a city) all came in joint first place with an average of 33,100 searches per month each.
Birmingham is a popular choice for many house buyers as it is the second-largest city in the UK and so has plenty of job opportunities, as well as being far more affordable than the largest UK city, London. Birmingham is also well known for its music culture with Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Robert Plant, The Streets, UB40, Wizzard, Laura Mvula, and Duran Duran all originating in Birmingham.
Leicester is famed for its cultural diversity, giant-slaying football team, and world-class universities, all of which make it a popular city to live in the midlands of the UK. It is also known for its Cultural Quarter, which boasts one of the most exciting art scenes in the country.
Cornwall, with its epic coastlines and picturesque beaches, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful counties in the country. It is little wonder house hunters search for homes in Cornwall as it is an idyllic paradise for holidaymakers from across the world. With the rise in remote working, many people are now able to continue in their jobs while living and enjoying the bountiful offerings of a place like Cornwall.
Joint in second place on the list of the most popular cities to search for houses in the UK were Bradford, Coventry, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield, and Swansea, each of which had an average number of 27,100 searches between January and March 2022.
Bradford is a city in West Yorkshire with a population of around 350,000. As well as being a multi-cultural hub with some of the best curry houses in the country, Bradford was also named UNESCO’s first City of Film, making it a popular destination for culture vulture’s from across the world. Bradford also has one of the lowest average house prices amongst cities in the UK.
The city of Coventry in the West Midlands is a popular destination for tourists due to its Medieval cathedral that was bombed during World War II. It is also said to be the city in which St George (who went on to slay a dragon) was born. Coventry is home to a successful university and a lively arts scene and, like Bradford, is among the cheapest cities in which to buy property in the UK.
The largest city in Scotland, Glasgow has become a popular home in recent years for artists and creatives looking for all the perks of a big city but for substantially lower costs than London and the South-East of England. Glasgow is known for its world-famous university, its art galleries, football teams, and of course some of the best unhealthy street food you can find anywhere in the world.
Liverpool in the North-West of England is only a short train ride away from their oft-rivals Manchester. Liverpool is home to one of the best football teams in the world and is known across the globe for being the birthplace of the fab four, The Beatles. Liverpool is one of the more famous cities that is often included in lists of the cheapest UK cities in which to buy property.
Sheffield is the second Yorkshire city to appear on the list and is known for its music scene (Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, Joe Cocker, to name just a few of the acts that hail from Sheffield), universities, and for being set amidst the beautiful landscape of the Peak District. Many people choose to move to Sheffield for its relatively cheap housing costs and to be closer to nature as the Peaks are only ever a stone’s throw away.
Also in joint second place was Swansea, the only Welsh city to appear on the list. The South-West city of Swansea is the second-largest city in Wales after Cardiff. It is known for its spectacular beaches, world-famous university, raucous nightlife, and for being the birthplace of the late great Dylan Thomas, the unofficial bard of Wales.
The final city on the list of the top 10 cities to search for a house in the UK, was Blackburn. Blackburn is well known for being the home of the cotton weaving industry in the UK and for being one of only seven football teams to win the English Premier League, the others being Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Leicester, and Manchester City.
Top 10 cities to search for a house
|City||Average number of searches between January and March 2022|
How much do houses cost in the UK?
In November 2021, the average UK house price was £271,000. This represented a £25,000 increase for the average property owner in the UK.
Average house prices increased all over the UK, with the highest price being in England, which has an average house price of £288,000. Wales has the second-highest average at £200,000, followed by Scotland which has an average house price of £183,000, and then Northern Ireland where the house prices average at £159,000.
The rise in average house prices was in part due to a sharp increase in demand over the past year or two in response to the pandemic. The number of houses sold in 2021 was at a high due to the Stamp Duty holiday and many city dwellers looking to leave as their jobs remained remote.
The cheapest city in the whole of the UK to buy property is Middlesborough, a property can be bought for only 1.7 times the average household income.
Unsurprisingly, London has the highest average house prices in the UK. At over £600,000, the average cost of a house in the capital is almost double the average across the whole of the rest of the UK.
The huge difference between the average values of houses in Middlesborough and London is just another indicator of the North and South divide in the UK.
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