Hever Castle in Sevenoaks - safest places to buy a home in the UK

These are the safest cities in the UK to buy a home in 2024


Location is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a new home (alongside affordability of course). One of the factors that make a good location is how safe the area is. This means it’s not only important to find the cities in the UK that have good amenities, schools and transport links, but also low crime rates. That’s why we decided to analyse the crime index of 105 towns and cities in the UK to reveal the safest cities across the UK to buy a home in 2024, according to the latest, available data. See if you can guess which cities made it into the top 10!

The top 5 safest cities in the UK for homebuyers

The small town in Kent has officially been awarded as the best place to buy a home, if you’re looking for a safe area with low crime rates. Sevenoaks scored first place with a crime index of 16.42. In second place is the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate, known for its spas and hot chocolate (and now – low crime index of 17.31). Not too far away is Chester, in third place of the safest cities in 2024 to buy a home. Chester is famously a family-friendly place, recognisable for its Tudor-style properties. The rest of the top 10 places for low crime rates are towns situated in the South East and East of England.

Here’s the list of top 5 safest cities to buy a home in the UK:

  1. Sevenoaks
  2. Harrogate
  3. Chester
  4. Wokingham
  5. Chelmsford
 
House prices in these areas are on the higher side too. According to Right Move, last year, properties in Sevenoaks had an average price of £765,118, in Harrogate, they were £406, 539 and in Chester £302,194.  
Map of top 5 safest cities in the UK to buy a home - CJ Bloor

As you can see, many of the safest cities are located close to major towns – particularly London if you look a the top 10. This means that if you’re looking for somewhere that’s fairly close or a commutable distance to work, but don’t necessarily want to live in the city centre, you could choose one of the safer surrounding areas.

The safest UK regions to purchase your first home

From comparing over 100 towns and cities in the UK by crime index rate, lower crimes rates typically fall in the South East and East, with some exceptions in the North West. For homebuyers, this infers that you’re more likely to get a home in a safe neighbourhood if you focus your property search in these regions. 
 
What’s interesting about these regions is that they’re home/close to major cities like London, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. Yet, for obvious reasons, the inner cities tend to be lower down the list of safest places to buy a home. Crime index rates will pretty much always be higher in major urban cities than outskirts, but it does show how you can balance both safe suburban areas to live with close proximity to a bustling major city.

Full table of safest cities in the UK to buy a home

Find the full list of 105 towns and cities ranked by their crime index score. Use the table to see the safest towns and cities, as well as the least safe. You can also search for individual places using the search bar to see where they rank.
RankTown/CityCrime Index
1Sevenoaks16.42
2Harrogate17.31
3Chester19.79
4Wokingham20.17
5Chelmsford22.24
6Horsham22.48
7St Albans23.39
8Guildford24.31
9Windsor24.51
10Bath & North East Somerset25.55
11Norwich25.82
12Lincoln26.11
13Salisbury26.65
14Crewe & Nantwich26.96
15York27.56
16Perth28.33
17Newbury29.52
18Cambridge29.71
19Isle of Wight29.75
20Edinburgh31.31
21Canterbury31.73
22Wrexham32.35
23Exeter33.38
24Warrington33.92
25Oxford33.96
26Swansea34.43
27Dumfries & Galloway35.45
28Aberdeen36.62
29Bury36.9
30Rotherham37.62
31Newport37.65
32Cheltenham37.68
33Cardiff37.76
34Newcastle-upon-Tyne38.23
35Brighton39.65
36Ipswich39.85
37Falkirk40.95
38Bridgend41.42
39Scarborough41.91
40Bristol42.03
41Sunderland42.13
42Plymouth42.37
43Bournemouth42.61
44Poole42.76
45Sheffield43.7
46Lancaster43.77
47Derby43.97
48Leeds44.02
49Aylesbury Vale44.1
50Portsmouth44.29
51Maidstone44.66
52Reading44.74
53Wakefield44.95
54Glasgow45.08
55Solihull45.54
56St Helens45.8
57Dudley45.88
58Belfast46.2
59Leicester46.33
60Gloucester46.46
61Basingstoke & Deane46.59
62Middlesbrough46.92
63Colchester47.1
64Stockport47.45
65Liverpool48.07
66Stoke-on-Trent48.08
67Dundee49.36
68High Wycombe49.54
69Nottingham50.94
70Peterborough51.92
71Southampton52.1
72Warwick52.45
73Barnsley53
74Walsall53.55
75Milton Keynes53.6
76London54.53
77Kingston-upon-Hull54.55
78Northampton54.56
79Bedford55.21
80Manchester55.33
81Luton55.7
82East Ayrshire56.18
83Stafford56.25
84Blackpool57.4
85Norfolk57.84
86Wigan58.09
87Salford60.82
88Basildon61.48
89Doncaster61.61
90Southend-on-Sea62.74
91Slough62.9
92Blackburn63.1
93Wolverhampton63.29
94Bolton63.46
95Birmingham63.81
96Coventry64.85
97Stockton-on-Tees65.59
98Bradford67.69
99Oldham68.08
100Dover68.63
101Rochdale69.95
102Ayr70.26
103Preston73.68
104Gwynedd75
105Nuneaton76.96

Where are the least safe areas to buy a home in the UK?

Down at the bottom of the table are those towns and cities that have the highest crime index rates, thus the least safe. There doesn’t appear to be any sort of pattern or commonalities between these towns and cities, which are dispersed across the UK. 
 
It’s quite interesting however to see how close they are to some of the safest areas. For example, Dover comes in as the 6th least safe place in the UK for homebuyers, yet Sevenoaks, also in Kent, is the most safe. 
 
Furthermore, Harrogate in North Yorkshire is the second safest, yet Bradford in West Yorkshire is the 8th least. Oldham, Preston and Rochdale also make appearances at the bottom of the table, which are all closely populated in the North West.
 
But right at the bottom is Nuneaton in Warwickshire. This is arguably one of the most surprising reveals from this analysis, as Nuneaton comes across as a somewhat quaint English market town. That just shows how important it is for homeowners to look into local statistics to truly understand what areas to purchase a property in. Gwynedd, close to Bangor, is the second least safe, while Ayr, in Scotland comes in 4th.
 
Here’s the list of the 5 least safe places to buy a home:
  1. Nuneaton
  2. Gwynedd
  3. Preston
  4. Ayr
  5. Rochdale
 

Buying a home or property is a really big decision where local area safety is just one of many other considerations you need to make. Other things about the surrounding city (or town) include amenities, schools, transport links and so on.

You should also take into account the property itself. That’s where a home survey or building survey can be useful. 

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