Norwich nabs national title as the happiest place to grow up

Norwich nabs national title as the happiest place to grow up

British parents voted Norwich top, thanks to a combination of open spaces, public amenities, safe roads and other factors for a safe and happy childhood.

Yorkshire’s Leeds and Sheffield were placed second and third respectively.

Researchers looked at the facilities and amenities which parents believe are important for a happy childhood and combined this with how many of these attributes they feel are offered in their locality.

For instance, the most popular feature for a fulfilling childhood according to the poll of 2,000 parents, is simply to have a garden to play in -a fact that did not help cities like London and Brighton where many people live in flats and apartments.

Other features which British parents rate as important to a child growing up happy include having friends who live nearby, areas safe enough for children to cycle and even a beach a short drive away.

Norwich scored well on most counts. However it did fail in one characteristic - a lack of hills suitable for sledging in the winter, although families who enjoy sledging at Mousehold Heath and on the edges of the University of East Anglia grounds might dispute that.

Those of us who live in Norfolk already know Norwich is a great place to bring up a family but it seems others are beginning to cotton on, too. With the dualling of the A11 nearing completion and with property prices remaining relatively cheaper than London, brace yourselves for an influx of people moving into the region. Those wanting a better life for their kids will have high on their must have-list the need to find good quality accommodation. This is where you, the landlord, come neatly into the picture - if you're thinking of either adding to your property portfolio or entering the buy to let market for the first time, focus on buying family friendly houses. Consistently, over the years, we've found 2, or 2.5 bedroom houses make the best rental investments because this is where the bulk of the tenant demand is. It is no coincidence that the biggest slice of the housing stock here falls neatly into that category, so there is no shortage of choice. However, with choice comes the inevitable agonising of where and what do I buy? Should I buy in Sprowston, Golden Triangle, Dussindale, Thorpe Marriott? Should I buy old, new, modern?

Ask these questions of an estate agent and the answer you'll get will depend on what they have on their books and what they want to sell you. Come and see a specialist letting agent and we'll give you the real answers and much more. (See our separate article on why borrowing against your buy to let property makes sense).

Mike White

Martin & Co Norwich

01603 766860