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Study names the most desirable U.K. cities for prospective homeowners  

  • U.K. homebuyers are searching for properties in London the most, according to a new study.
  • Glasgow, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Sheffield round out the top five most popular cities for future homeowners. 

New data reveals that London, Glasgow and Birmingham are the most popular U.K. cities for future homeowners.

The study, conducted by the online calculator tool The Calculator Site, examined online search data for each U.K. city, including ‘property for sale in [city]’ and ‘houses in [city] for sale’, from the tool Google Keyword Planner. The cities with the highest monthly search volume are listed to determine the most popular locations for homeowners.

London, home to 48 neighbourhoods filled with bustling culture and exciting nightlife, takes the crown as the most desirable city to live in. England’s capital has an average monthly search volume of 55,192 for the combined terms; ‘London houses for sale’ is the most popular search term, with 30,767 searches over the last 12 months.

In second place is Glasgow, a city known for its diverse art scene and friendly locals. ‘Glasgow flats for sale’ is the city’s highest volume in the study, with 9,783 average monthly searches over the last 12 months. Overall, the Scottish city has 49,342 average monthly searches for property-related key terms.

Birmingham takes the bronze medal. Located in the southwestern region of England, the city has accessible transport links to the rest of the U.K. and a wealth of cultural diversity, making prospective homeowners search for Birmingham property-related key terms 7,900 times per month. ‘Birmingham houses for sale’ is the most used term, with 30,717 average monthly searches over the last 12 months.

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Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city filled with literary heritage and historical architecture, ranks in fourth place. According to the study, prospective homeowners have searched for Edinburgh property-related terms 36,342 times per month, including ‘houses in Edinburgh for sale’, with the highest average monthly search volume at 24,308.

According to the study, Sheffield is the fifth most desirable city for future homeowners in the U.K. With everything from energetic nightlife to countryside walks just a stone’s throw away, the South Yorkshire city has an average monthly search volume of 36,283. ‘Sheffield houses for sale’ is the most searched-for term, with 26,783 average monthly searches.

In sixth place, Manchester has an average monthly search volume of 32,867 for property-related key terms. ‘Houses for sale in Manchester’ is the study’s most popular search term for the city, with its delicious food scene and booming nightlife attracting future homeowners across the U.K.

Liverpool is the seventh city homeowners are most interested in, with 30,333 average monthly searches; Bristol comes in eighth place, with 30,183 average monthly searches; Swansea ranks in ninth place, with 29,925 average monthly searches; and Inverness is the tenth best city for homeowners, with 28,015 average monthly searches.

Additionally, the research also reveals the least desirable U.K. cities for homeowners. St Asaph, a city in Wales, has the lowest average monthly search volume, 921 over the last 12 months. Westminster, with 932 average monthly searches, St Davids, with 2,003 average monthly searches, Kingston-Upon-Hull, with 2,959 average monthly searches, and Salford, with 3,368 average monthly searches, round out the top five least exciting cities for future homeowners in 2024.

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Alastair Hazell of The Calculator Site has commented on the study: “This study highlights the most sought-after cities for expectant homeowners, according to research based on the public’s search volume. London takes the number one spot, no doubt due to its wealth of career opportunities, transport links and multicultural landscapes.

It’s interesting to see a variety of locations making it in the top ten most desirable cities to live in, from Swansea in southwestern Wales to the Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, suggesting that people are also eager to move to smaller, less populated cities across the U.K.”

Table 1: The most desirable U.K. cities for homebuyers in 2024

Rank U.K. cities Average monthly search volume 
London 55,192 
Glasgow 49,342 
Birmingham 37,900 
Edinburgh 36,342 
Sheffield 36,283 
Manchester 32,867 
Liverpool 30,333 
Bristol 30,183 
Swansea 29,925 
10 Inverness 28,015 

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