Aylesbury Vale falls 17 places in list of best areas to live, below Wycombe, but is still better than Milton Keynes

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Aylesbury Vale is now a less desirable place to live than Wycombe district, having previously been rated the best place to live in Bucks, according to a new survey.

The district came 37th in the Halifax 2012 Quality of Life Survey, having spent the previous six years in the top 15.

Despite the slip, the district council leader said he was ‘really proud’ to make the top 40.

Councillor John Cartwright said: “There are always things to improve on, of course there are, but if you look around you and take in everything the Vale has to offer, it truly is a great place to live.”

The survey ranks the 405 local authority districts according to factors including health, life expectancy and crime.

In 2011 the Vale was 15th, above the likes of Wycombe, which was 23rd but has fallen to 29th. The Vale is also now considered to have a worse quality of life than South Bucks, South Oxfordshire and Chiltern. However, neighbouring Milton Keynes is only 82nd.

The figures reveal the average gross weekly earnings of Vale residents is £686, with an employment rate of 72.7%. The district has a burglary rate of 24.9 per 10,000 people.

A separate survey by the bank revealed Aylesbury house prices dropped by 6.8%, just under £16,000, in 2012, one of the biggest drops in the country. Several towns in easy commuting distance of London feature in the list of places where house prices have gone up, but Aylesbury bucks this trend.

Kaz Majcher, managing director of Temples estate agents, said in some parts of the town prices have fallen by as much as 10%.

He said: “In school catchment areas prices are holding better, but in less desirable areas they’ve dropped even more.

“The biggest problem in Aylesbury is they’re building lots of first time buyer homes. That’s great for them but not resale. You can’t give one or two-bed apartments away.”