South West voted ideal place to live in the UK

If cash were no object, where would you live? A new survey asked 3,500 Britons and the answer was clear: South West England in a large detached Victorian house with garage plus a big garden. In contrast, the North East was picked by just 1.3% polled.

Many had little time for living in the Capital. But living the Devon dream, for instance, doesn't come cheap.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

Devon dream

"The South West was the clear winner location-wise with 30% of Brits surveyed choosing it as their ideal location," says Lawrence Hall of Primelocation, "whilst 25% prefer the South East. The North East was the least-preferred location with only 1.3% of respondents selecting it as the ideal place for their dream home."

A fairly ordinary house - not even detached but a terraced cottage - in the popular seaside resort of Salcombe in Devon is currently selling on Primelocation for £1.1m. But what pushes the price of this particular property up is that it has harbour views, plus private mooring facilities.

Garage vs walk-in wardrobe

Clearly the countryside is popular for most Brits' ideal home; only 14% of those surveyed would choose to live in London with 25% opting for a rural village; 22% chose a larger country town while 17% wanted to live on the coast, so the survey claims.

Most - two thirds (66%) - saw a large garden as essential. But the gender divide was gouged open with 49% opting for a multi-car garage while 47% said a walk-in wardrobe (or several) was essential.

Any home a dream?

"Problem neighbours," says Hall, "were identified as the number one concern, with more than half (57%) of those surveyed stating that anti-social neighbours would be the biggest put-off. And more than a quarter (28%) felt that an unkempt garden would make it far less desirable."

While average UK wages are around £26,500 and salaries are still failing to rise in line with inflation, many will struggle to buy any property. Numbers of owner occupiers are decreasing while the number of private amateur landlords are rising, increasingly upping rents in line with house price inflation - making it harder to save for a deposit.

Factors damaging property value
See Gallery
South West voted ideal place to live in the UK

Pre-recession, homeowners would give little thought to the idea that local repossessions could affect the value of their home. 101 repossessions were recorded every day during the third quarter of 2011 and it has become a real concern.

A new crime map introduced in March 2011 was welcomed by buyers, but approached with trepidation by homeowners concerned about the impact on local property values. The map allows users to view crime statistics online by postcode to find out the crime rates and types of crime in any area.

It is widely recognized that schools with a good reputation increase competition and property demand within a local area, which in turn increases the values of property within the catchment area. Lose the school and the demand will cease too.

The devastation caused by flooding in recent years doesn't appear to paint a positive picture for homeowners faced with the financial and emotion cost of a huge clean up, insurance complications and the potential damaging effect on property values.

The proposed high speed rail link is depressing house prices for thousands of homeowners on the route and many homeowners feel helpless to stop tumbling property values.

Read Full Story