Bournemouth is a coastal town on the South Coast of England. The town was originally conceived and developed as a Victorian Resort town but has developed into more. It is now also a financial hub and a tourist attraction centre. The town’s football team Bournemouth F.C has also been performing well in the English Premier League which has led to much international attraction. For any expat moving to the United Kingdom, Bournemouth is a city worth considering. It has consistently been voted as one of the best places to live in the UK.
Is Bournemouth a good place to live? A city by the sea with great heritage and rich history, Bournemouth has quite the appeal. The city attracts many visitors every year and has stunning attractions. The social amenities are excellent and the real estate market fairly stable. It might be a bit expensive but Bournemouth is a fairly good place to live.
If you plan on moving to the United Kingdom, in Bournemouth you will be glad that the city has never lost its holiday ambience. It will be like you are constantly at vacation. That is especially good news for retiree you will find excellent natural beaches, parks and architecture. The city’s social life is also bustling. The city is very hospitable for citizens for all ages. With about five million tourists passing through Bournemouth every year, I can comfortably say that it is a great place to meet new people. With its ease of doing business, it would be prudent to seriously consider living in Bournemouth.
Is Bournemouth a Good Place to Live?
You will not find a city or town on this planet without good and bad neighbourhoods. They are different sides to the same coin and Bournemouth is no different. However, Bournemouth is one of the more affluent towns in the country and its worst neighbourhoods may not seem as bad as other bad neighbourhoods in the country. The best neighbourhoods in Bournemouth include places like Westbourne, Bear Cross, Talbot Woods, Strouden and Malmesbury Park. The worst neighbourhoods in Bournemouth are Kinson, East and West Howe, Ensbury Park, Springbourne, Lansdowne and Boscombe.
Crime levels in Bournemouth are lower than the national average meaning it is a relatively safe place to live. Major crime spots in the city were Boscombe, Kinson, Townsend and East Cliff. Anti social behaviour (ASB) crime took the lion’s share of criminal activities in Bournemouth with 30% of all crime activities with violent crimes coming in a close second with 25% of all crime related activities. Robbery, drugs and illegal weapon possession are very low in Bournemouth which is great news for any expat planning a move to the United Kingdom.
Bournemouth’s is among the few local authorities in England still instituting a selective education system. There are a total of 26 primary schools for example Kinson Primary School, Winton Primary School and Kingsleigh Primary School. Pertaing to secondary education, there are two grammar schools (one is for boys and the other for girls), ten comprehensive schools and few independent schools including Bournemouth School and The Bourne Academy. There are also two institutions of higher learning in Bournemouth including Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth. The AECC University College is an institution worthy of note located on Parkwood Road.
If you are moving to Bournemouth, you will probably arrive by air at the Bournemouth Airport formerly known as RAF Airfield where there are direct flights to over 23 destinations located in nine countries. From there you will have to make a choice of whether to travel by road or by train. If you decide to travel by road, you can use the A338 to get to Bournemouth Town Centre. You can travel around Bournemouth using a variety of bus services including the National Express and Damory Coaches. Bournemouth connects to Southampton using the M27 through the A31, to The North via the A34 and to London via the M3. The alternative to car is to travel via train. There are two train stations in Bournemouth: Bournemouth railway station and Pokesdown railway station. Branksome station can also be used to access West Bournemouth. It takes about two hours to get to London via train.
The Nightlife business in Bournemouth is thriving mainly due to the throngs of tourists passing through the city. Restaurants and pubs abide aplenty for drinkers and food lovers alike. Sea food is of course prevalent in Bournemouth. The town was granted the Purple Flag in recognition of its fun and lively social scene. Other social spaces include shopping malls and arcades where you can purchase good on credit.
Is Bournemouth a Good Place to Work?
Bournemouth has a very low unemployment rate of 3.5% which is slightly lower than the national average of 4%. The average annual salary in Bournemouth is also slightly higher than the national average. The average annual salary in Bournemouth is £37,200 while the national average is £36,600. A surprising statistic about Bournemouth is that there is a huge salary disparity between men and women. The average national disparity in salaries between the sexes is about £9,000. In Bournemouth men earn an average of £41,500 per year while the women earn an average of £29,700.
Bournemouth has a very high percentage of part time workers making up to 40% of the workforce meaning you can find many part time jobs in the city. About 95% of the population are employed in service sector which proves its validity as a tourist town. The major industries employing people in Bournemouth include human health & social work activities, wholesale & retail trade, accommodation & food services and banking, finance and insurance industry. Major employing firms in Bournemouth include J.P Morgan, Unisys (currently Tata Consulting Services), 4com, Nationwide Building Society and LV.
Is Bournemouth a Good Place to Buy Property?
The type of neighbourhood you decide to live in if you are moving to Bournemouth will decide the price and type of property you will purchase. Most houses are owned via mortgage. The best neighbourhoods in Bournemouth include places like Westbourne, Bear Cross, Talbot Woods, Strouden and Malmesbury Park. The worst neighbourhoods in Bournemouth are Kinson, East and West Howe, Ensbury Park, Springbourne, Lansdowne and Boscombe.
The average property price in Bournemouth stands at £343,000 which is higher than the national average of £294,000. Most properties purchased are in the £300,000 to £400,000 range. There is also more price variance in property prices in Bournemouth than in most of the country (3% vs. 1%).
The average property prices in Bournemouth can be further classified into the type of property. The average price for a flat is £364,225 and the average price for a terraced property is £311,035. The average price for a semi-detached property is £334,283 while that for a fully detached property is £841,409.
The average price for a one bedroom property is £162,247, for a two bedroom property is £288,181, for a three bedroom property is £494,362, for a four bedroom property is £1,002,737 and for a five bedroom property is £1,313, 194.
Those who cannot afford to own properties through mortgage or outright purchase will have to rent. Rental rates in Bournemouth can also be classified by the type of property and the amount of bedrooms that property has. The average rent for a flat is £939 per month, for a room is £789 per month and for a house is £1898 each month. The average monthly rent for a one bedroom property is £683, for a two bedroom is £952, for a three bedroom is £1,297, for a four bedroom property is £1,717 and for a five bedroom is £2,106.
Is Bournemouth a Good Place to Invest in Property?
Bournemouth is a thriving coastal town with plenty of opportunities in the real estate market. Price changes may be more common than in other areas in the United Kingdom but good investing practices should help with that.
One of the reasons why Bournemouth is a good place to purchase property is because it has been deemed the fastest growing digital economy in the UK. Though most IT work is independent of location, many professionals in the technology industry are expected to move to Bournemouth in the near future creating a burgeoning marketing for real estate.
Another reason to buy real estate in Bournemouth is that the town has a significant student population as a result of the two university located there. Universities ensure that there is a revolving door of new students studying for a degree who will have to rent properties nearby. Students will favour cheaper and smaller properties but their massive numbers should assure investors of profitability and a ready market.
The third reason why Bournemouth is a town ripe for real estate investment is its state as a tourist town. With development in technology and the rise of sites such as Airbnb, short term letting opportunities can be very profitable in Bournemouth. The millions of tourists visiting Bournemouth every year cannot all afford to stay in hotels. New and innovative ways to house such tourists should prove quite profitable for real estate investors in Bournemouth. However, home insurance is a good idea if you plan to invest in such a property.
Is Bournemouth a Good Place to Raise a Family?
Bournemouth is a good place to raise a family, if you can afford it. As we have established, property prices in Bournemouth tend to be in the top percentile. On the contrary, we have also established that it is a good place to work with great salaries. If you have a good, well paying job, then you can have your pick of primary and secondary schools. The schools may not be the highest rated by Ofsted but they have very high standards. You will rarely if ever lack gas/electricity or water in your home
Bournemouth has an incredible blend of beautiful natural scenery both by the sea and in land. Who would not want their children to grow up near the beach? Bournemouth beach is beautiful even during the typical gloomy English weather seasons. Moreover, there are beautiful parks and forests inland that should help your children explore their natural surroundings in a fun and practical manner. It is very difficult to raise inactive children in Bournemouth as they will always be outside playing.
Another reason why Bournemouth is a good place to raise children is because of the multitude of tourists that pass through the town. It is difficult to raise children without the deep imprint of a particular culture being present. You often have to take them far away to appreciate other people’s way of life but not in Bournemouth. If your children grow in Bournemouth they will meet new people every year and get exposed to different languages and cultures right at home which is a priceless experience.
Is Bournemouth a Good Place to Retire?
For the longest time, Bournemouth was known as a sleepy town for old geezers. So yes, it is a good place to retire. Also, living by the coast would be the ideal retirement location for most people. However, if you want to retire to Bournemouth you should have made serious contributions to your retirement savings account. Not everyone can afford to retire in Bournemouth but if you can, you can rest assured of perpetual gas/electricity, water and other necessary resources. Retirement property prices are not much different from other real estate prices but retirees should perform their due diligence and get the best deal possible.
The long shoreline would be perfect for evening strolls which is evidenced by the many senior citizens you will find on the beach in the evening. Bournemouth crime levels are way below the national average and retirees can rest assured that they will not be mugged nor have their houses burgled. However, some form of insurance is encouraged.
Even though you are retiring you do not want every single day to be the same. That would be very boring. Bournemouth has plenty of activity which older people can enjoy. Some of the festivities and events in Bournemouth should hold some appeal to the retired population and offer some late life excitement.
Is Bournemouth a Good Place to Visit?
Bournemouth is town frequented by millions of tourists all year round. It deserves credit as a holiday town. Therefore, it is safe to assume that there are plenty of attractions in the good old town. Some of them include:
Bournemouth has some of the best beaches in the country. Its seven mile shoreline has beautiful golden sand that tourists can dip their toes in every summer. The Bournemouth beach boasts of its landmark huts that are not only colourful but quite varied and add to the town’s aura. In fact, Britain’s first municipal beach hut was built in Bournemouth beach. Any visitor to Bournemouth should pay the beach a visit. Hengistbury head beach should be of particular priority as people have been known to pay obscene amounts of money for beach huts at this location.
Freida’s Tea Bus
Have you ever wanted to ride around the city while having some English tea and muffins? Well wonder no more. Freida’s Tea Bus offers tourists rides between Bournemouth and Boscombe’s piers right along the sea front where they can indulge themselves in scones, cakes and typical English tea in the afternoon while taking in the city’s amazing sights. Never has beach viewing been so fulfilling.
Isle of Purbeck
Jurassic Coast is located just a daytrip from Bournemouth on the Isle of Purbeck and can rival Jurassic Park in the amount and diversity of small and large creatures of ancient past. The coast used to be open to the public for fossil hunting but even though it is no longer possible, the history and stunning scenery will surely make up for it and you will have a severely thrilling experience.
Russell Coates Museum and Gallery
For any art lover visiting Bournemouth, there is a museum and a gallery just a few minutes’ walk from Bournemouth pier. The museum and gallery are magnetic to anyone who loves art or architecture. The gallery is actually a former home gifted by a one-time mayor of Bournemouth to his wife. It is one of the town’s jewels.
Bournemouth Air Festival
The Bournemouth Air Festival is an event that is worthy of note. It happens once a year but is truly spectacular. The degree of expertise showcased in the flying exhibitions will put you in awe. It would be smart to plan your visit so that it coincides with the festival. You will be in for a treat.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.