Five great locations for lifestyle and work in Southern England - *hint* they are all outside London!
Published 6 months ago by Medet Ali
One of the things about tax opportunities is that all the best jobs are in London, right? Well, yes and no… London may be a financial hub and the area where many of the better paid jobs reside, but is it the best place to live and work? Many of the big taxation firms are based in London, but there are plenty of opportunties that offer scope for taxation professionals.
It is a well-known fact that house prices in London outstrip those in other parts of the country. While house prices in the capital are predicted to slow and then drop by around 2% over the next two years, it is expected they will rise again from 2020. These falls will not significantly impact the already inflated house prices in the area. With flats going for more than half a million and a terrace fetching £675,000 - it is easy to see that your money could be better spent elsewhere. The South East as an example has an average house price of £392,000 (according to Rightmove) and the East Midlands had average house prices of just £201,000. This compares to even the cheapest London area where buyers are paying £454,000 on average.
So, if you choose to avoid London, where might you want to settle and work? For many in the tax industry, living and working outside of London is becoming more attractive and there are some excellent places in the South that offer opportunity, career advancement and a great work/life balance.
As a larger city, Bristol offers much more than you might expect. Named as one of the most desirable places in the UK to live by the Sunday Times in 2017, the city was praised for being close to the seaside and having incredible scenery. With a population approaching half a million, it is not a small city, but this means that it is ripe with opportunity. With a strong aerospace, defence, media and IT business infrastructure, Bristol is a fantastic business hub - particularly with its MOD procurement headquarters base. The unemployment rate is just 2.2% - well below the national average. The financial services sector employs 59,000 people and the IT giant Hewlett Packard is based there. Of course, it isn’t all about work - the city is also home to a a huge range of cultural highlights that will help you to enjoy your downtime.
This West Sussex city is perfectly situated - being the central hub of a number of nearby towns and boasts a railway station that will take you to most places quickly and easily. The town is built on the tourism industry, but is built around a number of marinas that offer a huge infrastructure of water-based businesses. However it is its links with Southampton and Eastbourne that make this an easy place to live. House prices range from £260,000 to more than £400,000 with an average of £379,000. For anyone wanting to live in a commuter town, this offers excellent value for money.
This Hampshire city is not only beautiful, it is perfectly positioned to make the most of easy travel inks to London and Southampton via the M3 or the train line. In 2016, it was found to be one of the best places to live in the UK with weekly earnings that were 27% higher than the average. 96% of people living in the city reported being in good health and crime rates are among the lowest in the country. According to Rightmove, Winchester homes sell on average for around £542,000 making it an expensive place to live - but still favourable compared to London.
Recently named as one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, Cambridge has seen a huge upswing in growth during 2017 with companies in the city adding more than £9bn to UK output during the first three months of the year. This is almost 3% better than the previous year and far better than many other similar sized cities. The popularity of the city comes down to its skilled workforce and productive industries including engineering, pharmaceuticals and technology companies. The city also manages to hold on to 80% of its start-ups after three years. This fact alone shows that this is a city of entrepreneurs and a great option for looking for that next step up the career ladder.
Reading was named as the 7th most popular place to work in 2017 by the website Glassdoor. With a population of more than 210,000 and with a median salary of £43,000 it is easy to see why it is so popular. Reading is a vibrant city with excellent links to London and close proximity to both the south coast and motorways to the north and Wales. While house prices may be high at an average of £430,000, this reflects its position in the heart of Berkshire. Reading supports a number of technical companies and features some large business parks. It is also headquarters to some big branded names including Oracle, Prudential and PWC. Equally it is ideal for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
I recruit for tax positions outside of London in the South of England. If you would like to know more about tax opportunities outside of London, please feel free to contact me for a confidential discussion.
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