Rural homeowners much happier with their homes than city dwellers
Just over 30 per cent of people in rural areas say they are ‘loving’ their neighbourhood, while only 16 per cent of city dwellers feel the same about their homes.
Levels of discontent for urban living were highest in Yorkshire, the county which also shared top spot for the highest levels of people who ‘loved’ or ‘liked’ living in rural areas (88 per cent), alongside the North East and South West.
Urban living proved most popular in the South East (85 per cent of urban people loved or liked), Northern Ireland (80 per cent), Wales and the East Midlands (both 78 per cent).
This apparent preference for country living is unlikely to be reversed according to the survey, with the last three months seeing an overall 2.1 per cent rise in how satisfied people were with the quality of life in rural areas, compared to a 1.1 per cent rise in satisfaction levels in urban areas.
Quality of life was measured across six key areas. Satisfaction with the quality of life in rural areas rose across five out of six surveyed areas compared to the previous three months, the cost of living (+8.9 per cent), health (+1.2 per cent), economy (+2.2 per cent), education (+1.3 per cent) and environment (+1.5 per cent).
The only exception was crime, with a 1.6 per cent fall in how satisfied people were about levels of crime and the fear of crime. This supports the findings of NFU Mutual’s rural crime survey last month, which reported theft to UK agriculture rose 6 per cnet in 2011 to an estimated £52 million.
Richard Percy, Chairman of NFU Mutual, said: “It’s great to see people living in the countryside enjoy it so much they’re prepared to declare their ‘love’ for it. Busy cities may have an abundance of amenities and vibrant high streets to offer, but this is clearly no match for the fresh air, outdoor pursuits and community spirit cherished by those who live in the countryside.”
While data from Office of National Statistics revealed the cost of living in rural areas had increased at twice the rate of urban areas over the previous 12 months, this latest research reveals people in rural areas thought life had actually started to become more affordable recently. Key to this perceived change was a significant shift in how satisfied people were with the cost of fuel (+9.7 per cent overall satisfaction) and running motor vehicles (+10.5 per cent).real estate
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