IBrighton is a resort town on the south coast of England whose emergence can be traced back almost 1000 years back. The town is now part of the larger Brighton & Hove City ever since the two towns become a single city in 2001. The town is only 76 kilometres south of London and is a popular destination for tourists. About 10 million tourists on average pass through Brighton every year. The town’s buildings are mostly of Regency architecture showcasing the town’s rich history. Moving to Brighton is worth serious consideration if you plan on moving to the United Kingdom.
Is Brighton a good place to live? Brighton has incredibly beautiful beaches, loads of pubs and restaurants to visit, proximity and access to the capital and generally has a positive vibe going. It has been ranked as the best place to live in the UK by 9NINE Super Seed brand and I have to give credit where it is due.
If you ask most people in the UK what the ‘hippest’ city in the country is they will tell you it is Brighton. The town has a huge LBGT community which may contribute to the city’s flamboyant aura. The diverse population of Brighton added to the millions of visitors passing though every year makes it a wonderful place to meet new people. The house prices are affordable and the market is quite stable. You tell any expat moving to the United Kingdom of a place with more than 300 pubs and they will move there, so would I.
Is Brighton a Good Place to Live?
Brighton is a town with its upsides and downsides as any town anywhere has. There are bound to be affluent, safe and clean neighbourhoods with other neighbourhoods being completely opposite. Neighbourhoods vary in degree of how well they perform on the above aspects. The best neighbourhoods include areas like Ovingdean, Hove Park, Rottingdean, Queen’s Park, Westdean and Patcham. The worst places in Brighton are Whitehawk, Bevendean, Moulsecoomb, Hangleton, Portslade, and Holingdean. Brighton City Center stands out as the most crime infested section of the town.
Brighton’s crime rate as compared to other towns in the country can be termed as average. Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) crime made up majority of the criminal activity in Brighton with 28% of all crime with violent crime coming in a close second with 24% of all crime. Weapon possession crime is an uncommonly frequent occurrence in Brighton so if are an expat planning on moving to Brighton, be ready to see some firearms. Crime has been slowly increasing in Brighton since 2014 and getting insurance for your valuables is a good idea. Police response in Brighton deserves little credit when compared to other areas so having private security or an alarm system may be a good idea.
Few places in the country have schools as good as Brighton’s. There are about 11 Ofsted ranked schools all within a ten mile radius. Some of the best primary schools include St. Luke’s Primary, Our Lady of Lourdes RC School, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Bilingual Primary School and Patcham Junior School. The highest ranked secondary schools include Varndean School, King’s School, Cardinal Newman Catholic School and Dorothy Stringer School. Brightown has a huge student population as it is home to two universities: University of Brighton and University of Sussex. The latter is the top ranked university in the world when it comes to development studies. The British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) is a noteworthy institution whose degree courses are validated by the University of Sussex.
Brighton is very well connected to the national road network. The A23 connects the town Northwards to places like London. The A27 and A259 connect Brighton to the East and West. A lot of Brighton residents commute to London via the Brighton railway station. The train ride takes less than an hour. Many trains from Brighton lead to Gatwick Airport which is 35 kilometres north of the town. Brighton Airport is just 15 kilometres West of Brighton and mostly offers domestic flights. There are plenty of bus services to take you around Brighton including Compass Travel, The Big Lemon and The Sussex Bus. However, the Brighton & Hove bus company runs most buses in and around Brighton.
You could write a book about Brighton’s nightlife. There are hundreds of pubs and restaurants frequented by locals and tourists alike. Moreover, Brighton has plenty of cinemas, theatres and museums. You can catch plenty of incredible festivals in Brighton including the Brighton Festival for a fun time out on the town.
Is Brighton a Good Place to Work?
Brighton’s unemployment rate is 5.7% , which is slightly higher than the United Kingdom average of 4%. The average annual salary of Brighton employees is £33,500 which is slightly lower than the national average. Surprisingly, there is a lower disparity in the pay gap between the sexes. The average annual male salary is £36,000 while the average annual female salary is £29,800. Of all employed persons, about 62% of employees are full time workers, the rest work part time.
There are plenty of private sector and public service employers in the city of Brighton. The clear cut winner of the industry employing most citizens of the town is tourism. As mentioned earlier, Brighton is a resort town. As far as single institutions are concerned, American Express is the largest private employer in Brighton where the company’s European headquarters are situated. Other large employers are the two universities which is why there is significant part time employment in Brighton. Gatwick Airport is a site that also employs a substantial portion of the Brighton population. Other noteworthy private employers in Brighton include Brandwatch, Domestic & General Group and the Graduate Recruitment Bureau (GRB). A lot of Brighton citizens, however, commute via train to London where they are employed in a variety of industries. With so many tourists, the wholesale and retail trade industry in Brighton often does well creating a lot of entrepreneurship activities.
Is Brighton a Good Place to Buy a House?
The average piece of a price of property in Brighton is £351,000 which is quite high as compared to the national average of £294,000. The price of property is highly dependent on location. Houses in clean, safe and secure neighbourhoods will cost more than houses in destitute neighbourhoods. The more affluent neighbourhoods include areas like Ovingdean, Hove Park, Rottingdean, Queen’s Park, Westdean and Patcham. The least secure places in Brighton are Whitehawk, Bevendean, Moulsecoomb, Hangleton, Portslade, and Holingdean.
According to www.home.co.uk, properties can be priced by two criteria: the number of bedrooms a property contains and the type of property. The average price of a one bedroom property in Brighton is £231,979, of a two bedroom property is £362,163, of a three bedroom property is £496,641, of a four bedroom property is £668,186 and of a five bedroom property is £1,054,303. When categorise by type, the average price of a flat in Brighton is £340,815, the average price of a terraced property is £583,928, of a semi detached house is £521,581 and the average price of a fully detached property is £746,959.
Some people may be unable to purchase a property or acquire a mortgage and they will have to rent. The average monthly rent for a one bedroom property in Brighton is £992, for a two bedroom property is £1,374, for a three bedroom property is £1,812, for a four bedroom property is £2,386 and for a five bedroom property is £2,880. Using the property type criteria, average monthly rent for a flat is £1,291, for a room is £2,306 and for a house is £2,675. You also have a chance to take out an insurance cover for the contents of your home.
Is Brighton a good place to invest in property?
The property market in Brighton is quite vibrant with miniscule variance in annual house prices. Though most properties are owned via mortgage, there are plenty of investment opportunities in Brighton for the following reasons.
Brighton is home to two universities meaning there is an endless stream of students coming and going in and out of Brighton. Students need housing and as long as there are new students undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs at either university, there will be demand for housing. As long as students can find a place with necessities like gas/electricity with easy access to the campus, your property is assured of inhabitants.
Brighton is a resort town. It has been so for centuries. Its location on England’s south sea is ideal for tourism. With millions of tourists visiting the town every year, there is plenty of real estate needed to house them. Not all tourists can afford or even prefer to stay in hotels. Hence, there are opportunities for real estate investors who would want to house these tourists. The rents charged to tourists will also be quite high which means high returns for investors.
Rising technological hub
Much like San Francisco, Brighton is fast become the UK’s digital/tech hub. The location by the sea, the vibrant LGBT community and the government business incentives, there are many similarities between the American tech city and Brighton. Such a rise will mean an increase in capital, corporate earnings and salaries in the area. If you want to invest in property in Brighton, now is the opportune time as they are bound to rise astronomically in the future.
Is Brighton a Good Place to Raise a Family?
Brighton has been consistently ranked as one of the best places in the UK for the past decade. Its validity as a child rearing town is much understated. The area has great Ofsted ranked schools so your children will get the very best in terms of education in both primary and secondary education. If that is not enough, there are two world class universities very close to home where your kids can go for higher education which makes the transition from secondary to tertiary education smoother than if they were to go to distant universities.
Secondly, growing up next to the beach in amazing weather has to be better than in muddy places with constant rainfall. Your kids will have the opportunity to play outside for most of the year and experience more activities like surfing, sailing and open ocean swimming which would be unavailable if they were to grow up farther inland.
Moreover, there is no other place in the country that offers as much diversity as Brighton does. If your kids grow up here they will be exposed to a wider variety of people and preferences than they would elsewhere. Big advantage is that there is a strong LBGT community in Brighton. Also, the millions of tourists visiting Brighton each and every year will expose them to varied languages, cultures and people which will be a real practical experience in foreign relations.
Is Brighton a Good Place to Retire?
If you can afford it, Brighton is a good place to retire. You can get great discounts for lifetime leases in retirement properties in Brighton for retirees over 60. The prices of retirement properties in Brighton are not much different from regular properties but there are great deals to be had if you look hard enough. The sandy beaches and the great resorts are ideal for retirees. It provides great scenery whenever you want to go outside.
Some retirees do complain about the throngs of students seen shuffling all over Brighton who are often loud and disorderly. However, that is only a small drawback since most students live close to the universities and if you can find property far from the institutions you can enjoy a very peaceful retirement. You can also earn money in your retirement far more easily in Brighton than elsewhere as a result of the multitude of tourists visiting Brighton. For example, you can open an establishment for aged visitors whose taste and preferences you can understand and provide for their needs.
Is Brighton a Good Place to Visit?
The millions of tourists who visit Brighton each and every year are testament to Brighton’s validity as a place to visit. There are plenty of sites, landmarks and attractions that will grab your interest and maybe even take your breath away. Here are some places you must visit when in Brighton:
Brighton Place Pier
If you go to Brighton one of the places you must visit is the beach. The most outstanding site on the beach will be the old pier which has stood for over a century now. The pier has not only withstood two world wars but numerous storms that have added to its aura and enriched its history. It is one of Brighton’s signature landmarks.
There are many great royal castles in the UK but none is quite like the royal pavilion. The former holiday home of Prince George of Wales, the structure is quite unique mostly in its Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture. The pavilion has stood for over a century and even includes an art gallery.
Sea Life Centre
Brighton is the proud home to the world’s oldest aquarium. The aquarium’s beautiful Victorian architecture with its great arches illuminated by vibrant lighting and colours is spectacular. The displays include fish of all sizes an there is an interactive rock pool where you get to touch some live sea creatures if you have the courage. It will surely be an unforgettable experience.
British Airways i360
You can see this impressive British Airways tower many kilometres before entering Brighton. It is a testament of human engineering and stands over 500 feet tall. The observation platform is 531ft above the ground and offers a breathtaking view of Brighton and the sea. You can even have afternoon English tea and muffins to embellish your experience.
For more cultured visitors to Brighton, the Brighton Dome is a performance venue that regularly features classical music, dance and theatre. It can house hundreds of people and is beautifully designed from top to bottom. An interesting fact about the dome is that there is an underground tunnel from the complex to the Royal Pavilion.
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
The treasures inside the city centre museum are stunning and priceless. You will find fine art pieces ranging in origin from ancient Egypt to the medieval Far East. The museum also includes a Natural Science collection of over 500,000 insects. At five pounds per visitor, it is good value for your money.
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.