The Best UK Cities for Every Life Stage — From Gen Zs and Millennials to Over 55s

Determining where to move and build a life is a big decision and can fluctuate significantly depending on what your priorities are. Whether you’re just beginning your career or studies, saving up for a home, starting a family or looking at retirement properties, there are a range of important factors to consider.

A new study by Audley Villages has revealed the best locations in the UK to live at every stage of life by analysing a range of metrics including the cost of living, rent, salary, safety, number of schools, 4G coverage and more. The study delves into identifying the top cities to live in for Gen Zs, millennials, families and over 55s in the UK.


London Is the Best UK City for Generation Z, With the Best 4G Coverage and Restaurants in the Country


In terms of amenities, opportunities and lifestyle, bustling London is the top city for Generation Z, or those born after 1996. London has over 18,993 restaurants and 2750 cafes, more than anywhere else in the country, as well as a high number of universities and graduate positions for young people starting their career.

For those wanting a similar vibrant city feel, Manchester and Glasgow follow as second and third in the ranking. Manchester has 1883 restaurants and only 395 people per WiFi allowing for faster WiFi as well as average download speeds of 30.44 mbit/s.


THE TOP 10 UK CITIES FOR GEN Zs

Rank

City

People per WiFi hotspot

Average download speed (Mbit/s)

4G coverage

No. of Cafes

No. of restaurants

Overall Score

1

London

698

31.7

60.92%

2750

18,993

9.0

2

Manchester

395

30.44

60.92%

558

1,883

6.0

3

Glasgow

756

31.02

60.92%

691

1,869

5.8

4

Birmingham

650

30.82

60.77%

525

1,865

5.8

5

Edinburgh

571

29.42

59.08%

413

1,816

5.5

6

Liverpool

1,117

31.7

60.92%

532

1,463

5.3

7

Nottingham

904

31.24

60.92%

271

990

5.3

8

Belfast

660

32.74

37.92%

365

840

5.1

9

Newcastle upon Tyne

1,246

30.58

61.08%

388

915

4.9

10

Leeds

1,210

30.14

54.38%

547

1,625

4.8


48% of Gen Zs Reveal Fast Internet Is a Top Priority in a Home, Even More than Cleanliness

Alongside analysing the best locations most suited for Gen Zs across the UK, how do home preferences differ from Gen Zs to retirees?

When it comes to what Gen Zs want in a home or student accommodation, being the first generation to be born into an extremely developed world reliant on the internet and social media, a UK survey of 1000 respondents reveals that fast internet is a necessity for 48% of 18 to 24 year olds.

A low crime-rate area is the most important factor for 55% of young people, followed by cleanliness, having a garden and being close to amenities.

Take a look at the top 10 home preferences for Gen Zs below:


THE TOP 10 HOME PERFERENCES FOR GEN Zs (18-24)

Rank

Home Preference

18 to 24 Year Olds

1

Low crime-rate area

55%

2

Fast internet available

48%

3

Cleanliness

44%

4

A garden

42%

5

Close to amenities

42%

6

Lots of natural light

42%

7

Large bedroom

39%

8

Storage space

36%

9

En-suite bathroom

36%

10

Good parking/ off road parking

32%


Liverpool Beats London as the Top UK City for Millennials With Low Living Costs and High 4G Coverage

Home to the Beatles, a cultural and football hub as well as some of the friendliest people in the country, it’s not difficult to see why Liverpool comes out as the top city for Millennials.

With an overall score of 6.7 out of 10, Liverpool offers the perfect mix of residential and city life with over 532 cafes and 1,463 restaurants. Coventry and Glasgow are the next most popular cities with equally good salaries of £2,082.79 and £1,756.89 respectively and a wide range of jobs available.

Take a look at the top 10 cities for UK millennials below:


THE TOP 10 UK CITIES FOR MILLENNIALS

Rank

City

Average Monthly Take-Home Salary

Average download speed (Mbit/s)

4G coverage

Average Cost of Rent

Cost of living

No. of Cafes

No. of restaurants

Overall Score

1

Liverpool

£1,797.49

31.7

60.92%

658.52

562.98

532

1463

7.5

2

Coventry

£2,082.79

30.9

60.92%

631.25

612.51

362

477

7.3

3

Glasgow

£1,756.89

31.02

60.92%

625.39

583.07

691

1869

7.3

4

Southampton

£2,069.70

32.86

38.08%

721.74

572.38

179

647

7.2

5

Leeds

£1,862.23

30.14

54.38%

667.86

602.01

547

1625

6.9

6

Wolverhampton

£1,594.44

31.78

60.92%

450

607.83

404

406

6.9

7

Hull

£1,348.33

36.72

35.85%

459.91

566.84

361

495

6.8

8

Belfast

£1,508.04

32.74

37.92%

637.29

543.23

365

840

6.8

9

Birmingham

£1,665.90

30.82

60.77%

753.64

603.14

525

1865

6.7

10

Sheffield

£1,609.09

27.94

56.31%

594.32

570.99

437

1161

6.7

 


City Living? Millennials Desire a Quiet Neighbourhood and Good Parking During COVID-19

During COVID-19, Millennial home buying habits have shifted from wanting the bustling city life to searching for a quiet getaway. The data reveals that a quiet neighbourhood is the top consideration Millennials take into account when looking for a home, as desired by 43%.

With less people taking public transport and investing more in the safety of a car, good parking is the second most important factor in a future home, followed by close to amenities, a low crime-rate area and a garden.

Take a look at the top 10 home preferences for millennials below:


THE TOP 10 HOME PREFERENCES FOR MILLENIALS

Rank

Home Preference

25 to 34

1

Quiet neighbourhood

43%

2

Good parking/ off road parking

41%

3

Close to amenities

37%

4

Low crime-rate area

36%

5

A garden

35%

6

Large bedroom

31%

7

Storage space

30%

8

Large living room

30%

9

Lots of natural light

29%

10

Fast internet available

28%

 


London Is the Best City for UK Families, With the Most Nurseries and Schools in the Country

According to our study, London ranks as the UK’s top city for families or those wishing to start one. The capital offers over 1,739 nurseries and 2,553 schools, offering a multitude of choices for working parents and their children’s education.

Cambridge on the other hand, is the least attractive city for new families. Despite being home to one of the UK’s top Universities, it only has 42 nurseries and 83 schools as well as a significantly lower number of GP’s, at 0.41 per 1000 people.

Take a look at the top cities for UK families below:


THE TOP 10 UK CITIES FOR FAMILIES

Rank

City

Average Monthly Take-Home Salary

Average House Price

Cost of living

Number of nurseries

Number of Schools

Crimes Per 1000 People

GPs Per 1000 People

Overall Score

1

London

£2,048.15

£477,856.33

£802.18

1739

2553

12.04

0.75

6.5

2

Glasgow

£1,756.89

£129,874.00

£583.07

241

193

12.27

0.95

6.5

3

Liverpool

£1,797.49

£137,163.00

£562.98

187

170

7.81

0.75

6.4

4

Aberdeen

£2,126.67

£152,799.00

£693.44

62

66

10.82

0.95

6.3

5

Derby

£2,125.00

£158,998.00

£605.44

68

103

10.52

0.75

6.3

6

Coventry

£2,082.79

£187,425.00

£612.51

96

119

9

0.75

6.2

7

Southampton

£2,069.70

£212,399.00

£572.38

85

134

11.26

0.75

6.2

8

Edinburgh

£1,962.35

£260,221.00

£643.13

154

122

9.9

0.95

6.1

9

Sheffield

£1,609.09

£168,128.00

£570.99

163

175

8.94

0.75

5.9

10

Birmingham

£1,665.90

£187,685.00

£603.14

312

441

11.8

0.75

5.8

 


44% of UK Families Say an Area With a Low Crime-Rate and Amenities Are Top Priorities When Purchasing a Home

After families choose which city to live, it’s equally important to consider what home preferences are imperative to your future home. A UK survey asking what preferences families prioritise in homes, reveals that 48% of British families want to live in a quiet neighbourhood following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it shows to be equally important to live in close proximity to essential amenities, according to 44% of respondents.


THE TOP 10 HOME PREFERENCES FOR FAMILIES

Rank

Home Preference

35 to 44

1

Quiet neighbourhood

26%

2

Close to amenities

44%

3

Low crime-rate area

44%

4

A garden

43%

5

Good parking/ off road parking

42%

6

Lots of natural light

29%

7

Close to specific school

28%

8

Large bedroom

27%

9

Storage space

26%

10

Large living room

26%


Glasgow Is the Best UK City for Over 55s, Followed by Sheffield and Edinburgh

For those over 55 or those wishing to settle down for retirement properties in Scotland is the top choice with both Glasgow and Edinburgh making the top 3 cities, as well as Sheffield, home to the peak district.

With a low average house price, cost of living and high number of GPs available, Glasgow is revealed as the best city for those looking to settle down in retirement. Both Glasgow and Edinburgh have relatively low monthly living costs at an average of £583 and £643 respectively. However the average house price in Glasgow is approximately £129,874, less than half of the average house in nearby Edinburgh.

Take a look at the top 10 cities for over 55s below:


THE TOP 10 CITIES FOR OVER 55s

Rank

City

Population Density (sqkm)

Average House Price

Cost of living

No. of restaurants

No.of parks/ gardens

Crimes Per 1000 People

GPs Per 1000 People

Overall Score

1

Glasgow

3,381

£129,874

£583.07

1,869

22

12.27

0.95

6.7

2

Sheffield

1,863

£168,128

£570.99

1,161

13

8.94

0.75

6.4

3

Edinburgh

1,761

£260,221

£643.13

1,816

10

9.9

0.95

6.2

4

Belfast

2,389

£131,324

£543.23

840

14

12.18

0.64

6.2

5

Sunderland

2,448

£115,542

£622.62

325

7

11.36

0.8

6.2

6

Swansea

790

£146,423

£622.62

528

7

7.15

0.61

6.1

7

London

4,807

£477,856

£802.18

18,993

145

12.04

0.75

6.1

8

Aberdeen

3,021

£152,799

£693.44

521

10

10.82

0.95

6.0

9

Stoke-on-Trent

3,989

£109,324

£607.83

444

9

10.06

0.75

6.0

10

Birmingham

3,676

£187,685

£603.14

1,865

25

11.8

0.75

6.0

 


A Quiet Neighbourhood and Garden Are the Most Important Features for Over 55s Looking to Buy a Home

A quiet neighbourhood, low crime-rate area, and a garden are the top features people over 55 look for in a home with a quiet neighbourhood desired by 73% of boomers. Wine cellars and splashbacks on the other hand, were the least desired home features with less than 10% interested.


THE TOP 10 HOME PREFERENCES FOR OVER 55s

Rank

Home Preference

55 to 64

1

Quiet neighbourhood

73%

2

A garden

61%

3

Low crime-rate area

57%

4

Good parking/ off road parking

56%

5

Close to amenities

50%

6

Lots of natural light

50%

7

Large bedroom

48%

8

Large living room

48%

9

Garage

45%

10

Storage space

43%

 


Sources and Methodology

To reveal our findings, our campaign analyses what the most important features and requirements are across different life stages using external and survey data in the UK. Based on the survey data we chose the most important factors each life stage should consider ie. families prioritise schools and salary.

The study was conducted in association with One Poll in July 2020 among 1000 UK respondents who are looking to buy or rent a home in the next year via CIA Landlord. It compares the home preferences that millennials, Gen Zs, seniors, adults, and families want in a home and how they differ.

Sources:


Notes to Editors

If you’re interested in covering our study, we only ask to please refer back to this study with a link to this post.
PR contact: sarah.fleming@kaizen.co.uk

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