The least desired city to live in the UK revealed

We want greenery and space over busy, crowded cities – according to research

A recent study has revealed the UK's 10 least desirable cities. Unfortunately for Londoners, the capital came out on top of the list of less-than-ideal locations.

Nearly two-fifths of respondents said they just wouldn't consider moving there. Conversely, York was proven to be the most coveted city to move to, with 89% dreaming of having a property there.

BestHeating is a designer radiator specialist. The company asked 2,000 homeowners where they most and least wanted to live in the UK.

house entrance has red door and flower plant

(Image credit: James Merrell)

The UK's least desirable city to live in

The fact London came out as the least desirable is linked to property market trends of the last 18 months. Many left cities and making the most of the stamp duty holiday.

On top of this new tendency to leave urban areas (despite the significant cost of moving house), record-high house prices are another key factor. House prices rose by 11.8% in September last year, bringing the average house price to £270,000, according to ONS data.

38% said they would never consider living in London, although Birmingham followed close behind. 37% did not want a house there.

london townhouses with white windows

(Image credit: Alamy)

34% said they wouldn't want to live in Glasgow, either, despite the average house price being lower than £200,000 in Scotland. 'Buying a house is the biggest commitment you can make,' says John Lawless, content marketing manager of BestHeating.

'So it is interesting to see that we appear to favour moves to less populated areas rather than the liveliest and most inhabited cities like London or Birmingham.' John comments that the desire to live in either York or Bath suggests we seek space, greenery, and somewhere with a sense of history.

The 10 least-desired cities

London – 38%
Birmingham – 37%
Glasgow – 34%
Liverpool – 33%
Manchester – 32%
Sheffield – 28%
Leicester – 27%
Leeds – 26%
Newcastle – 25%
Nottingham – 24%

Most desired place to live

york city

(Image credit: Alamy)

Despite its average house price surpassing £305,000, the historic North-eastern city of York is the most coveted place to live in the UK.

Bath was the second most in-demand place at 87%. This is ahead of Exeter (84%) and Brighton (82%), showing that the south of England is highly sought after by home buyers.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.