When choosing the location for a new home, prospective purchasers with children need to take into account several factors such as local schools, safety, amenities in addition to the actual property itself.

It is therefore interesting that the mutual, One Family, have just recently compiled their 2015 list of the top 20 postcodes in England & Wales which are the best to live in to raise children.

Now in its fifth year, the Family Hotspots Report is a unique analysis of nearly 2,400 postcodes in England and Wales outlining the most affordable and desirable places to raise a family. Over 70 different sets of data are fed into the analysis, which references key criteria important to parents when deciding where to settle and raise their family. This includes education, safety, childcare costs, local amenities, affordable property and green spaces.

The 2015 Report lists the following postcodes in the top 20:

RANK               POSTCODE       PLACE

1st                                          RG41                Wokingham, Berkshire

2nd                                       BS25                 Winscombe, Somerset

3rd                                         SN7                  Faringdon, Oxfordshire

4th                                         LE15                     Oakham, Rutland

5th                                         RG6                      Lower Earley, Berkshire

6th                                         PR3                  Longridge, Lancashire

7th                                         EX21               Shebbear, Devon

8th                                         CA27               St Bees, Cumbria

9th                                         CW10              Middlewich, Cheshire

10th                                     ST10                 Cheadle, Staffordshire

11th                                     OX18                Carterton, Oxfordshire

12th                                     EX15                 Cullompton, Devon

13th                                     BB7                  Clitheroe, Lancashire

14th                                     EX17                 Crediton, Devon

15th                                     GU51                Fleet, Hampshire

16th                                     EX24                Colyton, Devon

17th                                     BL8                   Bury, Lancashire

18th                                      IP9                   Shotley Gate, Suffolk

19th                                     YO25                Driffield, Yorkshire

20th                               L40                Burscough, Lancashire

It is encouraging to see that nearly half the postcodes are in the Northern part of England thus dispelling, certainly in this survey, a North v. South divide although just four counties, Lancashire, Devon, Berkshire and neighbouring Oxfordshire account for well over half of the top 20 postcodes.

As someone who travels throughout England & Wales with my business, Snagging Inspections Limited, undertaking new build surveys, I find it surprising that locations which I would have considered ideal to raise a family such as Cornwall or Norfolk fail to make the top 20 and also nowhere in Wales.

To see how your postcode, or prospective postcode, compares against the average then go to: www.onefamily.com/hotspots/check-your-postcode/