News & Blog

Read the latest business news, blogs and thought leadership articles from our members, as well as updates on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's work in the city.

News & Blog

Edinburgh revealed to be the UK’s happiest city for homeowners

Posted: 1st March 2019

New research looking into why homeowners and their children love and loathe property locations and where families are most happy with their homes

  • New data from Barclays Mortgages crowns Edinburgh as the city with the happiest homeowners, with residents in Cardiff, Newcastle and Norwich coming in close behind
  • The research shows that different aspects of their homes make homeowners across the country happy, for example one in four Liverpudlians (25 per cent) like their home because it is near a great takeaway
  • Meanwhile in Bristol, 13 per cent said they dislike their home because of bad water pressure in the shower, compared to a national average of 8 per cent
  • Barclays Mortgages has partnered with TV presenter and property expert, Lucy Alexander, to help homeowners to make the most of their current property

New research from Barclays Mortgages reveals that families in Edinburgh are the happiest in the UK when it comes to their homes, with 93 per cent of parents saying that they are happy in their current properties.

The top reasons families in Edinburgh said they like their home included the area, not being too noisy (58 per cent), it has outdoor space (58 per cent) and their children have their own rooms (52 per cent), therefore suggesting that their property meets all of their family needs. Tech savvy families in Edinburgh were also the second most likely in the UK to say that they liked their home due to the speedy wi-fi (31 per cent), after Liverpudlian families came out top (35 per cent).

Families in the Welsh capital of Cardiff came in a close second for liking their homes (87 per cent), while Geordies (86 per cent) came in third place. The reasons why they like their homes are quite different however, with Geordies prioritising the local shops (43 per cent) much more than those in the Welsh capital (30 per cent), as well as being close to a good local takeaway – 17 per cent in Newcastle versus 9 per cent of Cardiffians.

Meanwhile in London, the findings show that homeowners are happy in their homes (83 per cent) but perhaps unsurprisingly due to the cramped nature of the capital, they are the most likely to complain about lack of space.

Top 10 cities in the UK that are happy with their homes
1 Edinburgh
2 Cardiff
3 Newcastle
4 Norwich
= 5 Bristol
= 5 Nottingham
= 6 Liverpool
= 6 London
7 Southampton
8 Birmingham
9 Manchester
10 Plymouth

Interestingly, there were some quirky differences of opinion across the country as to what makes people happy in their homes. One in four Liverpudlians (25 per cent) like their home because it is near a great takeaway, compared to the national average of 16 per cent, while one in five (19 per cent) of parents in Sheffield like their home because of the local watering hole, which is five per cent higher than how we feel nationally.

Meanwhile in Bristol, 13 per cent said they dislike their home because of bad water pressure in the shower, compared to a national average of 8 per cent. Overall, 83 per cent of British homeowners were found to be happy in their current home, yet almost half (45 per cent) would still consider moving.

It’s clear that homeowners will often have a love/hate relationship with their homes. Before making the big decision to up sticks and leave, it’s important for parents to weigh up the pros and cons of moving home vs. remortgaging and staying put.

TV personality and property expert, Lucy Alexander, has partnered with Barclays Mortgages to share her top tips on how homeowners can make the best of their current home, for when moving or upgrading simply isn’t an option.

She commented, “It’s important to remember that, even if we like our homes, there are always ways in which it could be that bit better. Rather than upping sticks and going to the effort of moving home, there are simple ways to improve the home you’re in, often by making some really small adjustments.”

  1. Think about your needs as a family. Every family is completely unique, and we all need different things. For example, are you frustrated that your teenagers are always holed up in their rooms on their tablets or smartphones? By making some small changes to a communal area, you can make it feel more like their own space and hopefully see a bit more of them!
  2. Sit down with your family – kids or housemates included – and ask what they would like from their home. Obviously some things might be too much of an ask (a swimming pool or a slide spring to mind!), but there may be some little things that could make a huge difference. For example, if your kids say that their dream is to have a cinema room, why not have a family movie night once a month, complete with an abundance of popcorn.
  3. The findings from Barclays Mortgages showed that speedy WiFi was a hugely popular reason for people loving their home and we all know how frustrating it can be when you get the dreaded buffer screen! Sometimes slow broadband can drive us crazy, so think about whether it’s worth investing in a better broadband service, or even trying a plug-in broadband booster.
  4. A really common bugbear is the lack of space in our homes, with almost 3 in 5 homeowners (58 per cent) needing more space. It can be really frustrating when your family feels like they’re living on top of each other, but often there are some practical solutions which can make a real difference to the amount of space you have. For example, do you have loft space that could be used to create another room? It might seem like a daunting amount of money to spend, but you may be able to free up the money by remortgaging or taking out a further advance on your property. There are also ways to give an allusion of having more space, which can have a really positive impact on your state of mind. You might have a large wardrobe or a cupboard under the stairs, but when was the last time you had a ruthless declutter? By clearing out the storage spaces you already have, you might be surprised how much space is freed up.
  5. The research also revealed the strong ties children have to their home, with almost a third saying they would be upset if they had to move. If you do decide to move home, think about the impact in could have on them, and try to pre-empt and address any of their concerns – whether they’re concerned about missing their friends or having their own bedroom. By having an open and honest conversation about the reasons why you’re moving, and reminding them of all the positives, it’s much more likely that they’ll get on board.

Hannah Bernard, Head of Mortgages at Barclays, commented: “It’s well known that us Brits invest a huge amount of energy and money in our family homes, so it’s no surprise that we’re a nation of true home birds. The findings of our research show that families in the top three cities for happy homeowners in the UK all share a love for spacious homes, which is in keeping with the nation as a whole.

“Sometimes a lack of space can really have an impact on how you feel about your home, but if other factors such as being close to your family and friends and liking the neighbourhood you live in mean that you don’t want to move, it’s important to remember that space is something that can be resolved with improvements rather than needing to move to somewhere completely new. 

“Whether you love your property and are staying put or are looking to up sticks and move, we understand the different factors that go into this difficult decision and want to help families stay in control of their finances as they plan for a change in their home – whether it’s a big move, a remortgage or home improvements.”

For further information on Barclays Mortgages or improving your home, visit www.barclays.co.uk/mortgages or https://www.barclays.co.uk/moments/improving-your-home

House hunters can download the Barclays Homeowner app to find a dream home, calculate borrowing and for direct access to estate agents and mortgage specialists.


Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
Read more here