UK households are expected to face an additional £6bn in debt as a result of the coronavirus crisis, as millions of people fall behind on payments.

With these statistics in mind, leading vehicle finance provider Moneybarn ranked 369 cities* on key categories* including ‘annual pay’, ‘employment rate’, ‘house prices’, ‘rent prices’ and ‘gross disposable household income (GDHI)’, to reveal which areas in the UK are the most and least financially viable.

The UK’s Top 10 Most Financially Viable Locations
Ranking Location Score
1 Stratford-on-Avon 6.50
2 Runnymede 6.40
3 Torridge 6.32
4 Epsom and Ewell 6.21
5 Hart 6.15
6 South Cambridgeshire 6.07
7 South Oxfordshire 6.06
8 Bracknell Forest 6.05
9 Fareham 6.01
10 Rushmoor 5.99

Eight of the top 10-ranking locations are in the south of England, with Stratford-on-Avon taking the top spot as the most financially viable overall. The area scored highly in categories like ‘house prices’ (8.42), ‘employment rate’ (8.25) and ‘rent cost’ (7.92).

With an impressive employment rate of over 86% across the borough and rent prices over £100 cheaper than the national average, it comes as no surprise the area ranks first.

Despite Stratford-on-Avon’s lowest score coming from its GDHI, residents still take home over £6,600 more than the national average for GDHI**.

Runnymede (6.4) follows closely in second place overall. The area scores highly for ‘living wage’ – with less than 10% of its residents earning below the national living wage (£9.30 outside of London) – as well as ‘house prices’ (7.4) and ‘employment rate’ (7.02).

Torridge (6.32) places as the third most financially viable location in the UK, scoring highest out of the whole of the UK for ‘employment rate’ (10) – with over 91% of its residents in employment – as well as posting positive scores in the ‘house price’ (8.87) and ‘rent costs’ (8.83) categories.

Epsom and Ewell (6.21) and Hart (6.15) complete the top five most financially viable locations.

West Lothian in Scotland (5.79) scores the highest outside of England, ranking 22nd overall. The area scores highly for ‘house prices’ (9.43), ‘rent costs’ (9.27) and ‘living wage’ (8.19), but is let down by its ‘GDHI’ (0.67) and ‘annual pay’ (1.53), with residents earning, on average, less than £30,000 per annum.

The UK’s 10 Least Financially Viable Locations
Number Location Score
1 Enfield 3.31
2 Inverclyde 3.33
3 Barking and Dagenham 3.58
4 Hackney 3.66
5 Redbridge 3.67
6 Redcar and Cleveland 3.71
7 Tendring 3.75
8 Newham 3.75
9 East Lindsey 3.79
10 Harrow 3.86

Six of the bottom 10 least financially viable locations are in London, with Enfield (3.31) finishing in last position overall.

Receiving the lowest score for ‘living wage’ (0), Enfield sees nearly 40% of its residents earning below the national living wage (£10.75 in London).

It also scores poorly for ‘GDHI’ (1.24), ‘annual pay’ (1.86) and ‘employment rate’ (2.7), with over 30% of Enfield’s residents registered as unemployed.

London boroughs Barking and Dagenham (3.58), Hackney (3.66) and Redbridge (3.67) also feature in the bottom five least financially viable places in the UK.

With a number of boroughs performing poorly for employment rates, the government is taking steps to address the issue by supporting job training, including funding to allow adults without qualifications to access educational courses for free, as well as flexible loans.

Inverclyde, Scotland (3.33) is the only location outside of England to feature in the bottom 10.

The Scottish borough ranks as the second least financially stable UK location, scoring poorly for ‘GDHI’ (0.53) – where residents earn almost 20% less than the national average – and ‘annual pay’ (0.94), with locals taking home, on average, just £25,044 a year.

Derry and Strabane, Northern Ireland (3.87) just misses out on the bottom 10, ranking 11th from last overall.

Commenting on the findings, Tim Schwarz, Head of Marketing at Moneybarn, says:

“It’s interesting to see the difference in people’s financial situations across the UK, especially as no location scored higher than seven out of a possible ten overall. This suggests the government has its work cut out to get the nation back on its feet and help people live more comfortably, especially post-Covid19.

“If you’re struggling financially, there are free services available, putting you in touch with specially trained advisors, to help you get on the right track to managing your finances better.”

To view the full interactive, The UK’s Most Financially Viable Locations, click here