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Living in Reading: The Ultimate Guide

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
20th March 2019 (Last updated on Thursday 25th April 2019)

With the Crossrail set to be up and running by the end of 2019 and a thriving information technology sector, we can see why you want to be moving to Reading. Property is going to be in high demand before the end of the year, so if you’re thinking of moving to Reading, now is the time.

Voted the 7th best place to earn a living in the UK, Reading initially attracts commuters for its job opportunities with people eventually moving there as it’s a lot more affordable than living in London.

Compare My Move have created this guide featuring everything you need to know about moving to Reading, from the best areas of Reading to live to the best schools in Reading.

This article will cover the following points

Cost of Living in Reading Houses in Reading First-time Buyers in Reading Schools in Reading Jobs in Reading Transport in Reading Save on your Move to Reading with Compare My Move

Cost of Living in Reading

The cost of living in Reading for a single person per month is £714.83 including bills, food and clothes, with rent costing an additional £732.92 for a 1-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre, making the cost of living on your own in Reading £1447.75, according to data from Numbeo.

The average monthly wage for people working in Reading is £2,339.68 after tax and the average price paid for property in Reading in the last year was £363,319. The average asking rent for a 2-bedroom flat in Reading is £1,093 according to Zoopla, giving you around £1246.68 disposable income for gas, electricity and other living costs.

Houses in Reading

Reading is not the cheapest area to live in the UK, but it makes up for this in its plentiful job opportunities and more affordable cost of living than in London. In the last year, the overall average price of property for sale in Reading went for £363,319 according to Rightmove. Terraced properties in Reading had an average sale price of £325,919, semi-detached properties £396,461 and flats averaged at £242,172.

These are 5 of the most popular areas of Reading to live including average property prices.

1. Earley

Earley is a highly sought after area of Reading to live which is reflected in its property prices. Over the last year, the overall average price of houses sold for £388,017, with terraced properties selling for £307,852, detached properties for £528,144 and semi-detached properties going for £431,655.

Just 3 miles from the centre of Reading, Earley has been named the 10th best place to live in the UK by the Times and 2014 saw Earley being crowned one of the most desirable addresses to live on in the UK.

The average current asking price for a 2-bedroom house in Earley is £275,604 according to Zoopla.

2. Caversham

In the last year, property in Caversham sold for an average of £451,330, with semi-detached properties selling for £464,679, terraced properties sold for an average price of £363,184 and detached properties selling for £675,463.

The area has Caversham Primary School, which is an Ofsted ‘outstanding’ rated primary school. With great pubs, lakes and architecture, Caversham offers a family friendly community feel.

The average current asking price for a 2-bedroom house in Caversham is £321,500.

3. Woodley

Property prices in Woodley sold for an overall average price of £396,492 in the last year, with semi-detached homes selling for an average £399,555, terraced properties had an average sold price of £353,615 and detached properties selling at an average of £563,860.

Just 4 miles from Reading town centre, there are plenty of new build and modern houses for sale in Woodley.

The average current asking price for a 2-bedroom house in Woodley is £332,153.

4. Winnersh

Over the last year in Winnersh, the overall price paid for property was £416,725, with detached homes selling for £537,740, semi-detached for £390,628 and terraced homes for £330,943. Winnersh offers plenty of new build development homes as well as some older properties.

From small independent shops to well known high-street shops, Winnersh offers something for everyone.

The average current asking price for a 2-bedroom house in Winnersh is £256,577.

5. Calcot

The overall average price of property sold for £353,006 in the last year in Calcot, with detached properties selling for £521,564, terraced properties for £279,081 and semi-detached homes priced at £336,072.

The average current asking price for a 2-bedroom house in Calcot is £270,882.

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First-time Buyers in Reading

First-time buyers spent an average of £274,871 on their first home in Reading in December 2018 according to the UK House Price Index. We will show you what type of property the average first-time buyer budget of £274,871 can get you in 5 areas of Reading, based on Zoopla’s current average asking prices for all property types in Bristol.

Area of ReadingType of PropertyCurrent Asking Price

Woodley

2-bedroom flat

£228,198

Caversham

1-bedroom flat

£236,250

Winnersh

2-bedroom house

£256,577

Earley

2-bedroom house

£269,750

Calcot

2-bedroom house

£271,838

Schools in Reading

If you’re moving to Reading with children, or you one day plan to start a family, it’s important to know if the area has schools suitable for your requirements. There are many primary and secondary schools in Reading that have achieved an Ofsted rating of “outstanding” or “good”.

Best Primary Schools in Reading

These are the top 5 best primary schools in Reading according to data from Ofsted and School Guide.

1. All Saints Junior School -

  • Pupils come from Battle, Coley and other surrounding areas.
  • Ages 7-11.
  • 91% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating.

2. Caversham Primary School

  • Ages 5-11.
  • 85% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating.

3. St Anne’s Catholic Primary School -

  • Pupils come from the Caversham area, but some commute from further afield, particularly Emmer Green.
  • Ages 2-11.
  • 77% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • ‘Good’ Ofsted rating.

4. Thameside Primary School -

  • Ages 5-11.
  • 62% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • ‘Good’ Ofsted rating.

5. St John’s Church of England Primary School -

  • Ages 5-11.
  • 52% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • ‘Good’ Ofsted rating.

Best Secondary Schools in Reading

These are the best 5 secondary schools in Reading to help with your move to Reading.

1. Reading School -

  • One of the best Reading boys school.
  • Outstanding’ Ofsted report.
  • Boys aged 11-18.
  • 100% of pupils achieve 5+ GCSE results with A*-C grades.

2. Kendrick School -

  • Pupils come from nearby areas like Maidenhead, Bracknell and Thatcham.
  • ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report.
  • Ages 11-18.
  • 100% of pupils achieve 5+ GCSE results with A*-C grades.

3. The Abbey School Reading -

  • One of the best Reading girls school.
  • Girls aged 3-18.
  • 97% of pupils achieve 5+ GCSE results with A*-B grades.

4. Queen Anne’s School -

  • Available to pupils from a variety of Reading postcodes.
  • Girls aged 11-19.
  • 98% of pupils achieve 5+ GCSE results with A*-C grades.

5. St Joseph’s College -

  •  One of the best private schools in Reading.
  • Ages 3-18.
  • 94% of pupils achieve 5+ GCSE results with A*-C grades.

Find out more including how much it’s going to cost you to live next to these schools in our guide the 10 best schools in Reading.

Malcolm Richards, 17th March 2019
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Jobs in Reading

Reading has been voted one of the best places to make a living and work in the UK. With its history of huge involvement in the information technology sector, there’s no surprise that big tech companies like Microsoft and Oracle have its headquarters in Reading.    

Information technology, the creative sector, business and financial/legal services, energy and renewables and bio-pharma and biotech are the most popular job sectors in Reading. Reading is also a university town with the University of Reading offering employment in a range of subjects.

The average monthly salary for people working in Reading is £2,339.68 after tax.

Transport in Reading

Reading offers well-connected transport links with trains, buses and its close proximity to major airports.

Reading has one of the busiest train stations outside of London, with First Great Western, CrossCountry and South West Trains all operating to many locations around the UK. You can be in London Paddington within 30 minutes by train, making Reading an ideal commuter town as well as allowing people to commute to Reading too.

The £15bn Crossrail Reading service will be completed by the end of 2019 and will see two to four trains an hour travelling from Reading through to the centre of London directly. This will see house prices in Reading increase by the end of 2019.

As well as plenty of train and bus connections around Reading, the town is also closely situated to Heathrow Airport as well as Luton and Southampton airports.

An annual season ticket for train travel from Reading or West Reading train station to all London terminals costs £4604.

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