Edinburgh named top place to live in UK (again)

Edinburgh has again been named the best place to live in the UK. Picture: Scott Taylor
Edinburgh has again been named the best place to live in the UK. Picture: Scott Taylor
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Edinburgh has been named the best place to live in the UK once again, this time in a report by MoneySuperMarket.

The survey revealed Capital residents have the best quality of life out of the UK’s 12 largest cities.

The announcement comes three weeks after the city came top out of 130 UK council areas in a separate quality of life survey by another comparison site, uSwitch.

This latest report looks at “key economic indicators” such as rental and house price affordability, salaries, disposable income, cost of living, unemployment rates and life satisfaction – and reveals Edinburgh has scored above average almost across the board.

Of the UK’s 12 largest cities, it has the lowest unemployment rate, dropping from 6.6 per cent last year to 5.5 per cent this year.

Residents also take home the highest average annual salary – £25,543 – outside London.

The survey also found they benefit from a lower cost of living, with an average weekly household expenditure of £386.50 compared with the UK average of £426.30.

Kevin Pratt, from MoneySuperMarket, said: “Anyone who lives in or who has visited Edinburgh won’t be surprised to learn that it has clinched the top spot in our Quality of Living survey.

“It is a beautiful city with stunning architecture and a thriving cultural scene and, in addition, it has over the last year benefited from lower unemployment and lower cost of living.

“People in the Scottish capital have also seen a rise in disposable income and salaries over the last 12 months, propelling the city to the top of the list of best places to live in the UK.”

The report also found that, while most prosperous cities usually suffer from high housing costs, Edinburgh has high salaries without housing costs increasing to the same degree.

The average asking price of rent in Edinburgh is £1099, taking up just over half of the annual salary at 52 per cent.

Meanwhile, the average rental asking price of £2353 per month in London amounts to 93 per cent of the average salary there.

But city Tory leader Cameron Rose said that some of the report’s findings should be taken with a “wee pinch of salt”, adding: “It is an expensive place to live and it can be a challenge for young people – and for others – to get on the housing market.”

Belfast came in second while Birmingham came in last place, just behind London.

Chas Booth, Green councillor for Leith, said: “Any resident would agree that we are lucky to live in such a beautiful city with many green spaces. But obviously some of our city residents will struggle with food, housing and heating costs and there is more to do to ensure people continue to regard it’s a great place to live.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com