A popular commuter belt location, but with plenty to offer in its own right, Reading’s star is on the rise. It has rapidly developed from a sleepy satellite of London into a well-rounded university town with its own personality. But what do the people who live there think of the prospects for buying and renting? In this list of the 5 best places to live in Reading, we find out which new homes developments are making waves in Berkshire’s biggest town.
Is reading a good place to live?
With almost a quarter of a million inhabitants, Reading has grown quickly, but carefully. It’s a well-planned and designed town that continues to improve its cultural, retail, leisure and dining scenes. From Harris Arcade’s boutique shops to the vast Oracle shopping centre, there’s no shortage of excitement and entertainment to be found here.
Combined with its growing selection of good schools and excellent transport links, Reading has managed to secure itself a place as a prime spot for UK renters and buyers.
Main reasons why people want to live in Reading
Professional opportunities: Reading is regularly voted as one of the best places to work in the UK. This is largely due to the growing service sector here. Not to mention Reading’s long-standing ties to the international technology community. Microsoft and Oracle are just some of the tech giants who have their UK headquarters in Reading.
Safety and security: Reading has done a lot to improve its crime and safety ratings in recent years. For 2020, it had an overall crime rate of 66 crimes per 1,000 people, which is 1.3% lower than the Berkshire rate and puts Reading in the top 20 safest cities in the UK.
Transport links: Reading is only 30 minutes from the heart of London. It has excellent train links running both east into the capital and the Great Western main line. It’s also well served by its immediate access to the M4, A329(M) and A33.
Average property prices in Reading
Leading industry analysts place current average property prices in Reading at between £380,000-£450,000. While house prices have fluctuated over the past 12 months, Reading has become a more attractive prospect for Londoners looking to move out during the pandemic. This has pushed average prices of some property types up as much as 10%.
5 best places to live in Reading
With the overview established, let’s look at some of the best property developments in Reading for buying and renting. The following top 5 are all decided purely on the basis of their average scores collected from verified HomeViews resident reviewers. So, take a look at the top picks of Reading’s growing property portfolio, according to the people who live there.
4.35 (17 reviews)
4.35 (17 reviews)
Located in Woodley, just three miles from Reading town centre, Parklands is seen y its residents as a “best of both worlds” place to live. On the one hand, the development offers a tranquil suburban lifestyle with plenty of green spaces and low-key amenities nearby. On the other, it’s a short, direct route into the centre of town, served by excellent bus links. Residents love the sense of community that’s been established here, supported by the able management team.
Next on our list is Green Park Village, by Berkeley Homes, which sits just minutes away from central Reading. It offers a collection of New England inspired houses and contemporary apartments, and is situated on a large lake surrounded by green spaces, trim trails & nature paths, all of which feature highly in residents’ reviews. Nearby amenities also include a gym, crèche, restaurants and retail outlets at the nearby Green Park.
Third in the resident rankings is Dee Park, by Willmott Dixon, which is a multi-phase regeneration scheme. Located on the outskirts of Reading, this development comprises of 763 homes, 281 of which are affordable. As well as this, the development has a growing range of community, healthcare, and education facilities.
Kennet Island, by Berkeley Homes, sits just 3 miles from Reading town centre. Surrounded by acres of green space, the development comprises of a range of apartments, a central piazza complete with water feature, an established community and plenty more besides. When residents want to head into the centre of town, they are just an 5-minute bus journey away, or an 8-minute bus ride from Reading train station.
Our last entry on the top 5 list is Reading Gateway, by Bewley Homes. This development of smart, contemporary houses and apartments is also just a few miles outside of central Reading, giving residents access to outstanding green spaces and a deep sense of community spirit. At the same time, the rest of Reading is just on their doorstep, thanks to excellent road and bus route access.
If you want to know more about one of the biggest towns in the UK, then our area guide to Reading should be your next stop (see below). Here you can see more of our listings and resident reviews, as well as more general information about life in Reading.
HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, landlords and the Government to recognise high performers and help to improve standards in the built environment.