Reading town centre

Reading once again named as top-performing UK city

Where is the best place to live, work and invest in the UK? PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have revealed all in its latest Good Growth for Cities report and the results are interesting…

Since 2012, PwC has published an annual report documenting the growth levels of all the cities across the UK, looking at factors such as jobs, income, health, skills, work-life balance, housing, transport infrastructure and the environment. The idea is to give a broader view of which cities are the top performers in more than just GDP.

The results this year show that the country’s two top performers are Oxford and Reading, both of which held the top spots last year, too. Oxford’s index score of 1.09 and Readings score of 0.95 are significantly ahead of the rest of the list, with Southampton in third place scoring 0.79.

Excellent jobs, income and skills prospects

The report finds a definitive link between affluence and good growth, as this drives the factors that have the highest influence in the scoring including jobs, income and skills. However, in the case of London, this can mean lower scores in other areas such as housing affordability and commuting times.

The south-east as a whole, which includes Reading, performs highly in income levels, health and environment and new businesses per head, with all cities performing above the national average on these points. Work-life balance has drastically improved in the region.

Rental market opportunities

Reading has a large number of people in the private rented sector. It is a major attraction to renters who want an easy commute into London – not to mention the existing jobs market in the city itself – with more affordable rental prices than in the capital. It is a prime spot for property investors to look at because of this.

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