If, like the Rolling Stones, you can’t get no satisfaction then you might be advised to move to Redbridge. It has come top of all London boroughs in a comprehensive life satisfaction survey conducted by the Office Of National Statistics (ONS).
Overall, Londoners seem pretty satisfied with their lives with none of the 32 boroughs surveyed (City of London wasn't included) rating lower than 7/10 when asked “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?”.
But the most satisfied Londoners live in Redbridge, a district which includes Ilford, Woodford and Wanstead Flats, which scored 7.88/10.
“You’ve got very, very different areas within Redbridge. But in general you’ve got excellent schools, green spaces and parks, great rail networks and easy access to the A406 and A12. Everything you could want is here,” said Elaine Watson, sales manager at Hetheringtons. “It’s very family orientated and doesn’t feel like London - but it’s so easy to get to the city centre.”
Ilford, particularly, is experiencing a population surge with an influx of buyers spurred on by the promise of Crossrail. Currently Ilford is served only by overland trains on the Great Eastern main line, but the arrival of the Elizabeth Line will put Tottenham Court Road 23 minutes away and the journey to Heathrow will take 51 minutes.
Also in Redbridge is Woodford, a quiet and prosperous suburb with plenty of parks, good schools and an easy commute into the city thanks to the Central Line.
Another hotspot is the beautiful, nature-filled area of Wanstead Flats, the most expensive in the borough with family houses going for more than £800,000. At the more affordable end of the borough is Gants Hill and Seven Kings, both bustling and friendly places where flats start at around £200,000 and you can buy a house for around the £450,000 mark.
But it’s the people who make Redbridge such a satisfactory place to live, according to Ben Rendell, sales manager at Sandra Davidson estates. “There’s a lot going on. The people who live here have a good approach to life and encourage their families to move close by, which fosters a real sense of community,” he said.
After Redbridge the most satisfactory boroughs to live in are Kensington and Chelsea and Richmond upon Thames – both extremely wealthy areas where house prices can run into millions.
In joint third place with Richmond is Newham, the borough housing Stratford, Canning Town and the Royal Docks, which underwent serious regeneration ahead of the London 2012 Olympics. It is also London's fastest-rising district in terms of house price growth, according to Government figures released last month, with a 20 per cent upshoot taking the average house price to £359,000.
The areas that ranked lowest for life satisfaction were the south London boroughs of Lewisham (which contains Forest Hill and Beckenham) and Greenwich (Woolwich, Eltham) while Haringey, home to north London’s Muswell Hill and Crouch End, rated hardly any better. Fashionable Islington, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency, came 28th out of 32.
A survey published last month ranked Barking and Dagenham the most miserable place to live in the UK with residents describing their neighbours as unfriendly and rude. However, the borough scored fairly highly in terms of life satisfaction with a score of 7.45/10 – excellent news for buyers as it is one of the most affordable places in London to live with typical homes selling for less than £300,000.