HOVE has been ranked as one of the happiest places to live in Great Britain, according to a recent study.

The Happy At Home Index by Rightmove placed the seaside resort fourth in its list, but it narrowly missed out on a podium finish in the index to Hexham, Richmond upon Thames and Harrogate.

Horsham also featured in the list, placing 18th.

The top 20 happiest places to live in the UK are:

  1. Hexham, Northumberland
  2. Richmond-upon-Thames, Greater London
  3. Harrogate, North Yorkshire
  4. Hove
  5. Llandrindod Wells, Wales
  6. Stirling, Scotland
  7. Monmouth, Wales
  8. St. Ives, Cornwall
  9. Anglesey, Wales
  10. Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
  11. Perth, Scotland
  12. Hitchin, Hertfordshire
  13. Woodbridge, Suffolk
  14. Kendal, Cumbria
  15. Macclesfield, Cheshire
  16. Exeter, Devon
  17. Salisbury, Wiltshire
  18. Horsham
  19. St. Albans, Hertfordshire
  20. Guildford, Surrey

More than 21,000 people contributed to the study, with ten measures averaged out to determine the happiest places to live. These included local green spaces, artistic and cultural activities, opportunities to develop skills, non-essential amenities and sports and recreations activities.

The study found those who lived in cities were more likely to move to a town than a village, while those who lived in villages were more likely to move to towns than cities. It also found that nearly two thirds of people who moved to a different area in the last year (64 per cent) were happier in the area where they now live.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove's director of property data, said: "It's been an incredibly busy year in the housing market, with a lot of people deciding that now is the right time to move.

"It is fascinating to see that people who moved in the last 12 months were more likely to be happy in their areas than those who did not.

"Whether it may be a couple looking for a small change in the same area, tenants looking for more space, or a family completely changing their lifestyle and moving from the city to the coast, this has been the year that people have really seized the opportunity to move, and turned ideas into action."

Estate agent Mishon Mackay has seen a demand for properties around Hove in 2021, with a 19 per cent increase in sales on last year's figures since the full stamp duty holiday ended in June.

Alex Mackay, managing director at Mishon Mackay, said: "Hove has always been a popular region for young professionals, London buyers looking to move out of the hustle and bustle, and families.

"Homebuyers are searching for more space, gardens, and a better quality of life beyond cities after lockdown, and a readjustment with sellers' price expectations recently has brought investors back into the market with force. Whilst those looking to rent want to be close to a city and have amenities nearby.

"Most of our enquiries are still for this area alone, and we advise those thinking of relocating to Brighton and Hove, to take the plunge now."

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