With a high number of newer properties, low crime rates and almost zero flood risk, Birmingham comes out top as a safe and secure place to live.
In a study looking at 30 of the UK’s major cities for factors including crime, property damage, local medical services and weather, Compare the Market has come up with a comprehensive list which prospective homebuyers can use to help them choose the safest place to own a home.
Birmingham was named the safest city to live in the UK, scoring particularly strongly for its high number of properties that are less than 40 years old as the area has received and continues to benefit from extensive regeneration, as well as the extremely low levels of ground movement in the area.
The safest places
Only 87 out of every 100,000 people in Birmingham were affected by crime, and the risk of flooding was found to be 0%. With an average house price of a below-UK average £177,828 according to Compare the Market’s data, the typical property age there is just 45 years and ground movement came in at 0% – meaning the risk of extensive property damage through issues such as subsidence is generally extremely low.
Belfast, Derby and Plymouth all came next on the list as safe places to set up home, with Manchester – the UK’s largest city after Birmingham – ranking in fifth position out of 30.
While the crime rate per 100,000 people was slightly higher in Manchester at 141, it had a 0% flood risk, and properties there were even younger than in Birmingham at an average 42 years – which again is a sign of the city’s extensive regeneration and investment in new properties in recent years, as the population in Manchester has boomed. The average house price in the city according to the report is also low at £168,759, and the chance of ground movement was just 1%.
Low levels of crime
When looking solely at crime rates, Leeds was deemed the safest city in the list, with just 22 out of every 100,000 affected by crime. This was followed by Edinburgh, with crime rates of 76 per 100,000, and Birmingham.
The three cities at the bottom of the pile for safety levels were Peterborough, Southampton and Kingston Upon Hull, where potential homebuyers might need to think about choosing their properties and locations slightly more carefully. Property investors looking at where best to find a place to rent out could also benefit from taking these statistics into consideration, particularly those whose target market is families, who are likely to place a higher importance on the safety of an area.