The Only Way is Essex, According to Housing Experts

New research from Compare My Move has assessed the best towns for a ‘rural relocation’ across England – and currently Essex has topped the list.

Taking into account everything from average house prices, to volume of restaurants and even the speed of wifi. Through this comprehensive research, they have identified the top places for city-dwellers to flee to for a life in the countryside. 

In the top ten, they labelled small Essex-town Ingatestone. Though only a small town, Ingatestone comes out top for location, nestled between Brentwood and Chelmsford, a Greater Anglia train runs straight to London Liverpool Street and it sits just off the A12 motorway. 

Additionally, its well-stocked high street of diverse and independent businesses, couples with its greener areas, make it a very livable town. Across the data points, Ingatestone scored 74.92 out of 100, placing 10th on the top 10 list.

Not an Affordable Choice 

However, Ingatestone may not be accessible for everybody looking to move to the countryside. With an average house price of £775,511, this Essex town may be unaffordable for many. 

This town is one of the most expensive options featured on the list. The lowest average house price comes in at number 24: Southport, Merseyside with an average house price of £206,954. At the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive entry is actually the lowest-scoring of the Top 50. Ilmington, Warwickshire, had an average house price of £1,162,500 and a score of 61.28 out of 100.

Essex Sweeps the Board

Ingatestone was not the only winner from Essex. In fact, three Essex locations made it into the top fifth of the table. West Mersea, Epping and Dedham all featured on the list, further reiterating Essex’s versatility. When assessing house prices, average salary, weather, restaurants and wifi speeds, it is clear that Essex has a lot to offer.

Essex has seen huge development and gentrification in recent years, which has thus seen the expansion of property developers such as Griggs Homes, Troy Homes and Graville.

Escape to the Country 

As Brits prepare for a potential second lockdown in Winter, the situation sees many reassessing their living conditions. Entering the new normal, different factors are becoming  priorities. Whilst proximity to a big city was once an overriding factor for many, the new circumstances see many prioritising open air, more space, and greener pastures. With this in mind, the rest of the top 10 list should come as no surprise. Guildford, Surrey, takes first place on the list. One of the most picturesque towns in the south of England, the verdant town of Guildford has been a popular choice for many years. Towns from Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Kent also feature within the top 10.