Looking to move? Find out more about the neighbourhood!

by - Monday, January 28, 2013

When considering a move, it's essential to learn as much about the area in which you plan to live as possible. Are there shops nearby? A park for the children to play in? What are the options for local schools, and are they good schools?

As we're hoping to move soon, I've been trying to find information about the areas we're looking to rent in. My first port of call would have been UpMyStreet.com, but since the site has been taken over by Zoopla, the invaluable statistics and overviews by postcode are not longer available.

Luckily I have discovered a few excellent alternatives to UpMyStreet.com which may be useful for researching areas you'd like to live, or even just to learn more about your neighbourhood. These sites provide easy-to-digest statistics based on postcode locations, covering social demographics, standards of education, employment statistics and even crime rates.


CheckMyArea offers a brief insightful overview of postcode locations so you can gain an impression of how the area is described, including what type of people live in the area, and how affluent they are.

This site doesn't go into much detail, and much of the information presented is relevant to finances (as the site is affiliated with a credit reference service). However, the graphical representations provide insight at a glance without having to read through and analyse chunks of data. 

If you're initially curious about whether an area is right for you, check this fast free site first.

Visit CheckMyArea

Neighbourhood Statistics

This Government-run website collates statistics based on postcode input to produce in-depth analysis of an area.

The most useful search to perform is the "Neighbourhood Summary" which you can find on the right of the home page. Just input your postcode (or that of the area you want to search) and you'll be presented with details of the population, work skills, education, housing, environment and more.

To research even more detailed statistics, simply click the "more" tab and you'll be presented with pages of information to dissect and digest. You can also find details of crimes reported around the area of your postcode input, though for clarity I prefer using the Police website (detailed below).

Visit the Neighbourhood Statistics website

UK Local Area

In comparison to the previous two websites, UK Local Area may at first seem a little basic. But don't let that put you off! 

Initial your postcode search will deliver a "deprivation index" which offers a graphical overview of factors affecting well-being (including income deprivation, education and barriers to services). From here you can navigate to more in-depth information about your area including: population, work, house prices and Council Tax.

Unfortunately many postcodes are not recognised by the site's search system, so if in doubt look up the borough or type only the first part of your postcode and find your way from there.

Police Crime Statistics

Want to know about crime figures in your area? Simply enter your postcode into the Police.uk website to find details of recent crimes reported within a half-mile radius.

You'll also be able to find details of your neighbourhood policing team, police and crime commissioners, and anti-social behaviour around the area.

Visit Police.uk

Comments? Suggestions?

Do you know of any more useful sites to find information about the areas in which we live? Which of these sites did you find the most useful when researching places to live?

Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below, or feel free to contact Amanda by email.

Image credit: Pink Sherbert Photography, via Flickr

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