Where are the best places to live? Property news roundup

Plus, where to build houses, the boomerangers, and remortgages

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The Independent Online

Three new reports name Cardiff, Norwich and Devon as among the best places to live in the UK.

MoneySuperMarket's annual Quality of Living Report suggests that people living in Cardiff have the best quality of life out of the UK’s 12 largest cities.

The annual report takes into factors such as house price growth, rental costs, salaries, cost of living, and life satisfaction. Last year's 'winner' Bristol, drops to fifth place, due partly to a rise in the cost of living there.

Cardiff is followed by Belfast with Bradford in third place. Birmingham came bottom in 12th place.

Meanwhile, Prudential's 'quality of retirement index' indicates that Dorset is the best place in England and Wales for retirees. Solihull was second and joint third were Buckinghamshire, North Somerset and the Vale of Glamorgan.

And Norwich appears to be the the happiest place for children to grow up in the UK, thanks to its open spaces, parks and safe roads. Leeds and Sheffield came second and third in the rankings, according to a survey by Panda Soft Drinks. Leeds and Sheffield were the runners-up.

Where to build houses

Half of the 2,000 people polled by the Building Societies Association, say they would  oppose a major housebuilding programme close to their home.

Around 49 per cent would be against building more than 300 properties in their neighbourhood and 53 per cent against developments of between 100 and 299.

"These views results illustrate the major barrier that Government has to overcome when it comes to boosting housing supply in the UK," said Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy at the BSA. "People are open to new developments and even different types of housing and tenure, but the message is clear, 'not in my backyard."

The BSA's report also shows that one in five people would consider a shared ownership property, living in an off the shelf kit home, and living in a converted retail or office space. More than a third would also be happy to build their own home.

Boomerang generation

Four out of  ten of Britain's young adults aged under 34 living at home have 'boomeranged' back to their parents after initially moving out, says a new report from thinkmoney.

Its poll of 1,000 adults (half 'parents' and half 'children') shows three quarters of these 'boomerangers' left to go to university or college and then moved back, with women 17 per cent more likely to move back home after studying than men.

Almost a third of those who moved back home say the main reason was the need to save money and that they were unable to afford to live away from their parents. One in turn returned after their own relationship fell apart.

Young people in Wales were the most likely to boomerang, with half moving out and back again. Three quarters of under-34s in the North East living at home say they have always done so.

Remortgage lending up, up, up

Remortgage lending will reach £80 billion by 2016, according to the Mortgage Advice Bureau .

"After languishing behind the purchase market in terms of recovery, the stage is set for the remortgage market to experience a significant pickup in activity," said Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau. "Although lending criteria have tightened under the Mortgage Market Review, the available options have greatly improved since the recession and will continue to do so.

"Recovering house prices mean many homeowners will finally be in a position to re-enter the market for the first time in years with the equity needed to access new loans. Many more borrowers will want to position themselves on the most favourable deals before losing the advantages they have enjoyed in an era of exceptionally low interest rates."

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