Cities are not traditionally considered the best place to raise a family, but while those looking to do so are still having cities in droves, some are opening new doors of opportunity in cities such as Manchester, Bath and Newcastle.
If you’re not ready to leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind, Money Supermarket have released their annual Family Living Index, and this year’s picks for the most family friendly cities may surprise you.
The index analyses 35 of the UK’s biggest cities for those really important factors that influence a family’s life, including school rankings, green spaces, safety, jobs, salaries and house prices.
On this year’s list, Bath may have been top of the picks as the most family-friendly city, but the real success story was Manchester, which sky rocketed up by 12 places to claim the number four spot. Previously sat at number 16 on the list, it’s vastly improved crime rate has given it a huge boost for family’s looking for city living.
For a city its size, house prices are relatively low, with the average sitting at just £173,381. Improvements in the number of schools in the area, as well as income improvements as more large firms relocate to the north, have all been contributing factors, but a lot of the city’s movement is put down to plummeting burglary rates.
In terms of housing, Manchester is the second most affordable city in the UK for those with low to middling incomes that want to buy their first home. Research from ReallyMoving.com found that shop assistants, earning an average of £15,000 per year, could afford 13 per cent of houses in the city, compared to just two per cent in London. For nurses and teachers, this hits 52 per cent and 67 per cent.
House prices in Manchester have risen far quicker than wages in recent years however, a rise of £15,00 on average in just two years, so now might be a good time to choose to move into a Manchester property.
London, of course, remains the least affordable city, where teachers have choice of just seven per cent of housing stock. This has also pushed it to the bottom of the Family Living Index, for the second year in a row. With an average house price of £484,172, even fantastically ranked schools and high income can’t save it from hitting the bottom of the list.
Competition for school places and a higher crime rate also leaves it lacking when it comes to raising a family there.
Last year, figures were shown that the number of Londoners leaving the capital was at an all-time high. Brighton and Birmingham were the most popular destinations for these leavers, but Manchester attracted 4,150 newcomers from London in the same year. Confidence in job opportunities outside of London has been bolstered by high profile moves to the city by large companies. This month, BT announced they would be leaving their London headquarters in an attempt to cut costs.