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Northern Ireland revealed as the happiest region to live in Britain

The happiest place in Britain is Northern Ireland overtaking the South West with London remaining as the unhappiest place to live.

This is the second year of a nationwide survey from Lloyds Bank commissioned by YouGov revealing Northern Ireland as the happiest region in Britain overtaking the South West.

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic Northern Ireland happiness index has increased 11.1 points from last year to 52.5 with the South West slightly down from a year ago at 50.6.

The index asks whether happy or unhappy people are in their local community on a scale ranging from -100 (very unhappy) to +100 (very happy) where the average was 42.9 out of 100 and included questions about the lockdown.

Women are now more happier than they were last year with a score rising from 40.7 to 45.3 whereas men are less happy with a score falling from 44.2 to 40.4.

Large difference based on location

The survey considered many factors of the location where people lived including ease to access amenities, living close to friends and family, cleanliness, safety, good community spirit and transport links.

The following table from Lloyds Bank shows the Happiness Index for Britain for the last two years and the change to October 2020.
Region 2019 2020
Northern Ireland 41.2 52.5 +11.1
South West 51.4 50.6 -0.8
North West 45.5 45.9 +0.4
Wales 33.7 45.0 +11.3
Scotland 44.6 44.2 -0.4
Yorkshire & Humber 48.0 43.5 -4.5
West Midlands 37.2 43.1 +5.9
East of England 40.6 41.7 +1.1
South East 43.6 41.1 +2.5
East Midlands 40.8 40.5 -0.3
North East 40.0 39.2 -0.8
London 37.6 37.6 +1.5
The biggest change in happiness over the year is for Wales up 11.3 points from eleventh place last year to fourth place and Northern Ireland rising 11.1 points to claim top position.

For home movers looking to trade up since the lockdown, they could improve their quality of life living in regions such as Northern Ireland, South West or North West.

Yorkshire & the Humber has decreased over the year by -4.5 points from third palace a year ago to sixth place this year with only decreases for the South West, Scotland, East Midlands and North East.

The happiest age group are 55+ and for those staying where they are an equity release buyer can access cash with a lifetime mortgage to repay an interest only mortgage and make home improvements.

For remortgage buyers that are happy with their location during lockdown, they can release capital to improve the home by increasing space such as a loft conversion or extension.

London remains the unhappiest region with a score of 37.6 although this has improved over the year by 1.5 points since last year.

Local mood has changed with pandemic

The mood has changed more significantly since lockdown was announced with people living in the South West more happier with a score of 42.5 in March increasing 8.1 points to 50.6 by June.

Wales has seen the second highest improvement, increasing 6.2 points since lockdown in March with gains in happiness recorded for Northern Ireland, North West and Scotland.

In contrast the pandemic seems to have had a negative effect on people in the East Midlands down -5.5 points and the North East lower by -14.3 points.

Other regions where the happiness index is lower due to the pandemic are Yorkshire and the Humber, the East of England, the East Midlands and the North East.

For first time buyers the pandemic has changed their view with indoor and green space as well as upkeep of the local area and neighbours and been important factors.

The changes in attitude is something buy-to-let investors need to consider as this would impact on the demand for their property and rental yields.

What are your next steps?

Talk to our London City Mortgage brokers for advice if you remortgage your existing home and want the best mortgage deal or release capital, buying your first home, moving home or a buy-to-let investor.

For older homeowners releasing equity from your property, our LCM mortgage advisers can recommend the lifetime mortgage, accessing wealth to purchase a new car or pay university fees for grandchildren.

Learn more by using the equity release calculator, mortgage monthly cost calculators, and property value tracker chart. Start with a free mortgage quote or call us and we can take your details.


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    Equity Release may involve a Lifetime Mortgage or a Home Reversion Scheme. To understand the features and risks, please ask for a personalised illustration. Equity Release may affect your entitlement to means tested state benefits and will impact on the size of your estate. For Equity Release London City Mortgages charge a fixed fee upon completion of £695. For Mortgages a fixed fee is charged on application. Typically this is from £295 up to £495 for the services selected.


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