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Byline: Catherine Lillington

A LEAFY corner of the Midlands has been named among the country's most desirable places to live.

Wychavon in Worcestershire was ranked sixth in a study measuring quality of life by factors including job opportunities, housing, the environment, education and health.

The area is made up of three main towns - Droitwich Spa, Evesham and Pershore - and surrounding countryside.

It scored particularly well in terms of house sizes, boasting the biggest homes in the study with an average of 7.4 habitable rooms.

But Wychavon was the only part of the Midlands to make the top 50 - and nowhere in the North of England, Scotland or Wales made the list.

The top spot was taken by the district of Hart, in the north-east corner of Hampshire.

Economist Martin Ellis, of Halifax - which released the figures - said: "Residents of Hart in Hampshire enjoy the best quality of life in the UK.

"They benefit from a combination of above-average weekly earnings, a low crime rate and good health amongst other factors.

"On the other hand, average house prices in the area are amongst the highest relative to local earnings, highlighting that a high standard of living often comes at a price."

The highest weekly earnings were shown to be in Kensington and Chelsea, averaging pounds 1,521, followed by the City of London at pounds 1,239 and Westminster at pounds 1,141.

But Kensington and Chelsea also had the most unaffordable homes with the highest average house price to earnings ratio. Typical prices stood at 12.2 times that of local yearly earnings.

The Isle of Wight was the sunniest place, enjoying 37.4 hours of sunshine a week, against a national average of 29.7 hours.

Despite a no-show in the top 50 ranking, the North, Scotland and Wales fared well in terms of housing affordability.

Pendle in Lancashire had the lowest house price-to-earnings ratio at 3.5, followed by North Ayrshire in Scotland and Blaenau Gwent in Wales at 3.6. The Western Isles enjoyed the lowest burglary rates.

What do you think of Wychavon? And is where you live better? Email
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 27, 2011
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