Wolverhampton is a large but quiet city in the Midlands. It’s perhaps best known as the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. and the famous Molineux Stadium. While Wolverhampton doesn’t have the cachet of larger and better-known Midlands cities such as Birmingham, it still has plenty to offer both visitors and those who’ve come to stay.
Is Wolverhampton a good place to live? While the city performs poorly in surveys regarding overall desirability and quality of life, Wolverhampton is rated quite highly as a place for families to settle. It has good transport connections, inexpensive property and good access to amenities.
Whether you’re looking for a UK city to settle down in, considering a degree course at Wolverhampton University or just thinking about visiting friends in the city, you’ve found this page because you have questions about Wolverhampton. How much does property in Wolverhampton cost? What are the schools like in Wolverhampton? How easy or difficult would it be to find work there? To find out all this and more, read on.
Is Wolverhampton a good place to live?
Wolverhampton is a large and sprawling city that takes in a number of former villages, newer suburban developments and the city centre, with its blend of historic and more modern buildings. Like every city, Wolverhampton has both good and bad points. Some neighbourhoods are rather dreary, with fewer amenities and weaker transport links. Other neighbourhoods, though, are lively and vibrant or quiet and picturesque. The city’s centre is a mixed bag of nice but very expensive streets and less pricey but rowdier ones. Desirable neighbourhoods include Ash Hill, Pool Hall, Perton Ridge, Wednesfield, Goldthorn Park and Lower Penn. Less desirable areas include Heath Town, The Scotlands and Park Village.
The overall crime rate in Wolverhampton is relatively low; it’s a fairly quiet, calm city, although there are a few hot spots for crime (mostly in the centre of town).
As you would probably expect from a large city with a range of different neighbourhoods, schools vary in quality. There are some excellent schools in Wolverhampton, alongside more average ones. Secondary schools are both comprehensive and selective. Some of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the UK are located in Wolverhampton. For higher education, there is the University of Wolverhampton.
Transport is good, although Wolverhampton’s position as a focal point for the road networks in the region gives rise to a lot of congestion. Wolverhampton is connected to a number of major motorways. Rail connections are excellent — Wolverhampton station is a major railway hub for the Midlands and provides many local and long-distance connections. Trains run between Wolverhampton and major cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham, as well as many smaller stations. A number of local and regional bus companies operate in the area and most of the city is well-served. The bus station was extensively rebuild in 2011, providing for a greater volume of bus traffic.
Social life in Wolverhampton is lively and varied. As well as the usual bars, pubs and clubs, there are plenty of cool and quirky micropubs and really good places to eat. Wolverhampton is noted for having a large number of live music venues — very large, if you count the Molineux Stadium. Other large venues in the city include Wulfrun Hall and Wolverhampton Civic Hall, which regularly host major acts as well as local bands.
Is Wolverhampton a good place to work?
Unemployment is somewhat higher in Wolverhampton, both with respect to the national average and the Midlands. That said, a closer look at the figures suggests that employment in the city is actually fairly robust. While there is a higher than usual number of people out of work, those in work are more likely than average to be working full-time rather than part-time or on zero-hours contracts. It’s also worth noting that the percentage of people working more than 45 hours per week is actually lower than average, indicating that most people have a good work-life balance. Underemployment and (on the other end of the spectrum) overwork are perhaps less of an issue than in other towns and cities. For a skilled and qualified candidate under 40, it should be easy to find work.
Employees in Wolverhampton earn an average salary of just over £21,000 — that’s significantly lower than the national average.
Some important Wolverhampton industries are manufacturing and the aerospace and defense sector; because Wolverhampton is a university city, education is also a major source of employment. Jaguar Land Rover operates a large engine manufacturing facility in the city. Some other big Wolverhampton employers include Wolverhampton City Council, Chubb Locks, Assa Abloy (a Swedish lock and door hardware manufacturer), and Marstons PLC.
Is Wolverhampton a good place to buy a house?
Property prices in Wolverhampton are notably lower than the rest of the country. The average price for a house in the city is just under £179,000. There is a great deal of variation in house prices across the city, with the most expensive houses found in neighbourhoods like Ash Hill, Pool Hall or Perton Ridge. York Gardens and Skidmore Avenue are good places to consider if you want to live close to the city centre. If you’re looking for a large, characterful property, one of the barn conversions to be found in Lower Penn might suit you. On the other hand, Bilston Urban Village is a good location if you’re searching for a new-build home.
The average price for a one-bedroom property is £126,000. A three-bedroom house sells for around £181,000 and a large five-bedroom house for £377,000. It’s worth considering a flat over a house as flats in Wolverhampton are significantly cheaper than houses.
Rents are similarly very low. The average is £570 pcm. A one-bedroom house rents for £360 pcm. The average rent for a three-bedroom house is £740 pcm. A five-bedroom house averages £1,850 pcm.
Is Wolverhampton a good place to retire?
Wolverhampton is generally regarded as being better for families than for retirees. Even so, there is plenty to recommend the city for your retirement — particularly if you have ties to the area. On the whole, people retiring to Wolverhampton seek out the quieter suburbs and outlying villages rather than settling in the city centre. Penn and Lower Penn in particular have some lovely retirement properties. Purpose-built retirement homes tend to have one or two bedrooms; with a little diligence, it is possible to find larger properties but be aware that they don’t come up as often.
It’s quite easy to find retirement properties for as little as £65,000 for a one-bedroom flat. A more common price would be around £110,000. Three-bedroom properties are harder to find; they tend to be more expensive than a similarly-sized standard property as they’re often located in more desirable areas. £198,000 is a realistic price to pay for a three-bedroomed property. If you’re looking for a five-bedroom home for your retirement, you might be better off hunting down a standard property and undertaking any modifications you need yourself. The average price for a standard five-bedroom home is £377,000.
Retirement rentals are usually for single-bedroom flats. You can generally expect to pay around £600 for a retirement rental. Larger properties are harder to find if you only want to rent. You might need to look at towns outside of Wolverhampton or settle for a standard property if you really need extra space. A standard three-bedroom house is £740 pcm, while you can rent a standard five-bedroom house for around £1,850 pcm.
Is Wolverhampton a good place to visit?
Wolverhampton is generally not very high on a list of UK tourist destinations. People visiting the city are often there for work, visiting friends or there to watch a match at Molineux Stadium. That said, there is actually quite a lot you can see and do in the city and the surrounding countryside. Wolverhampton has an interesting industrial past and this is reflected in the city’s arts and its museums.
Landmarks to look out for include some fascinating old buildings. These include Moseley Old Hall, Wightwick Manor and the timber-framed Boscobel House. Wolverhampton Art Gallery is noted for its fine collection of pop-art, while the Black Country Museum takes a look at the industrial history of the region.
Shopping is a bit less impressive than in Birmingham but the Mander and Wulfrun shopping centres offer plenty of scope for flexing your credit card. There are plenty of bars and pubs, including some celebrated CAMRA-approved pubs.
As you might expect, sport is a major feature of life in Wolverhampton. If there’s no match on while you’re visiting, you could swap football for a more sedate round of golf at one of the city’s courses. If you have kids in tow, a visit to the Wild Zoological Park might be better received. For a truly unique experience, the more adventurous visitor can book a session at Stunt Drive; as the name suggests, Stunt Drive provides movie-style stunt driving experiences for motor enthusiasts.
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.