Best places to live also the most expensive
The 2017 Halifax Quality of Life Survey has revealed the best places in Britain to live, with the south of England once again dominating the list.
Hart in Hampshire came top for the fifth time in six years, having unexpectedly plunged to 26th last year.
However, the survey is certainly not just about one small town. Although Orkney came second overall, just as it did in 2016, it was the only Scottish location in the top 20. The larger picture was one of southern dominance.
The criteria on which the survey was based brought together a combination of factors, ranging from life expectancy and health to employment rates and income.
It also focused on more nebulous concepts of 'wellbeing' surveyed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), based on reported levels of happiness, stress and self-worth.
With Hart scoring very well on income at £844 a week on average and an employment rate of 84 per cent, it will indeed be an attractive place to live for those who want good jobs with plenty of pay. But with that, inevitably, comes higher prices; the typical home in the town costs over £419,000.
The same is true across southern England, which accounts for 35 of the top 50 areas. Of these, 17 are in the south-east and four in London. The capital's best borough to live in is Westminster, followed by the City of London, Richmond-upon-Thames and Kensington & Chelsea.
All this means rental landlords can target such areas in the knowledge that professionals will flock to them for good jobs, while not always being able to afford to buy a home. This will be especially true in prime central London areas, where the highest average property prices in Britain are to be found.
Of course, the survey does not tell landlords everything. For example, the best places to live in each region beyond London are invariably rural, giving less guidance for those letting homes in big cities.
Nonetheless, for those letting properties in the south in London's commuter towns such as Hart, the survey suggests there may be plenty of good rental demand, not least because the survey itself is bound to alert the geographically mobile to the opportunities on offer.