Waverley tops annual rural areas quality of life survey
Residents of Waverley have the best quality of life of any rural area in Great Britain, according to the 2013 Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey.
Set in the south west corner of Surrey the borough of Waverley tops the survey for 2013, with Uttlesford in Essex in second spot and neighbouring East Hertfordshire in third.
Why Waverley is a great place to live
Taking its name from Waverley Abbey, reputedly the first Cistercian abbey in England, the heavily wooded borough contains an area of outstanding natural beauty in Blackheath Common and is bordered by the North Downs.
Waverley residents tend to be fit and healthy, with an average male life expectancy of 80.6 years and 96.7% reporting general good health. Many are comparatively wealthy, enjoying high weekly average earnings of £888 and an employment rate of 79.9% – both substantially above the UK average of £609 per week and 70.2% respectively. At the same time average house price in the area is 5.6 times local annual gross earnings, which is below the average house price to earnings ratio for all rural areas of 6.0.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, commented:
"Waverley has performed consistently strongly across a wide range of indicators for a number of years, and the latest survey found residents here now have the best quality of life in rural Britain.
"While Waverley is not the top area in any one indicator, its strength is that it performs strongly across the board. The average resident has a high weekly income, enjoys above average health and life expectancy and low crime rates. But while they also benefit from a big home with central heating, living there does not come with a hefty price tag, with house prices relative to earnings below the average for rural areas.
"It is the combination of factors taken together which ensure that residents in Waverley enjoy the highest standard of living in rural Britain."