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Moving to… Portsmouth

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Portsmouth offers a unique living experience, thanks to its status as the UK’s only island city. Its strong maritime history and ease of access to other parts of Hampshire make it a popular destination for movers. Especially for the ones who enjoy seaside living, open spaces, local amenities and a vibrant community. If you’re thinking of moving to Portsmouth, then this guide is for you. We explore what it’s like to live in the city located on Portsea Island and discover all there is to see and do.

If you’ve found a property you’re interested in, in Portsmouth, be sure to do your research before you commit with a Move iQ Property Report.

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A brief history of Portsmouth

Portsmouth has the world’s oldest dry dock and was England’s first line of defence during the French invasion of 1545. It has served as a vital naval port for centuries and, by the 19th century, was considered the greatest naval port in the world. 

Where is Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a port and island city located in the county of Hampshire, southern England. It lies around 20 miles southeast of Southampton, 50 miles west of Brighton and about 75 miles from London. 

Portsmouth, Hampshire

Moving to Portsmouth

There are plenty of popular spots in Portsmouth, including Southsea. Arguably the most upmarket area in the city with its Victorian and Edwardian properties. Movers looking for homes on the seafront will be intrigued by Clarence Esplanade and South Parade, while Gunwharf Quays is the location for modern housing.

Buying in Portsmouth

The average sold price in Portsmouth is £259,538, which is lower than the UK national average of £329,547. Expect to pay an average of £431,701 for a detached home, £245,066 for a terraced house and £186,988 for an apartment.

There’s a varied selection of estate and letting agents in Portsmouth, with chain and independent options available to help you find a home. 

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Renting in Portsmouth

One-bedroom homes rent for an average of £750 per month in Portsmouth, with two-bedroom properties fetching in the region of £1,050 per month. For larger homes, expect to pay an average of £1,250 per month.

Cost of living

If you’re moving to Portsmouth, you can expect to pay similar prices to the UK national average when it comes to everyday living. A meal for one person is around £14, while a cappuccino is about £2.80 and a pint of milk is £0.95p. 

Utility bills are considerably lower than the national average in Portsmouth at around £95 per month for electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal (UK average £155). Broadband is in line with the average at about £30 per month. 

Living in Portsmouth

Open spaces

There’s a good selection of green areas in Portsmouth, especially in the popular neighbourhood of Milton. The city is also just 25 miles to the New Forest, where you can wander around and enjoy scenic open spaces. Portsmouth’s coastal location means you’re never far away from a seaside stroll. 

Transport links

Portsmouth enjoys a variety of transport links, including train services that go to London and the northeast of the country. Regular ferries service the Isle of Wight and run throughout the year, while motorists have access to the M275 and A3.


Gunwharf Quays shopping centre is the place to go for premium outlet stores offering discounts on retail prices. You can also partake in some retail therapy at numerous spots around the city centre, including the pedestrianised Commercial Road and Southsea, which offers independent and boutique shops. 


You’ll find a range of cuisines in Portsmouth, with a strong emphasis on seafood. Brasserie Blanc is a favourite with locals and features a French menu devised by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc. While The Briny is an easygoing waterside spot offering fish dishes. For something a little different, try Pie & Vinyl, which serves classic comfort food and features a record shop of new music and artists. 


Portsmouth is well served with nightclubs and bars, whether you’re after a quiet drink with friends or feel like partying until the early hours. PRYZM is a popular spot with a regular lineup of themed dance music events. The Alchemist, a cocktail bar in Gunwharf Quays is also a sought-after and lively bar. 

Art & culture

Portsmouth Guildhall is an iconic venue staging music, comedy and dance performances, along with events and exhibitions. If you’re a lover of the visual arts, spend some time at Aspex with its programme of events, workshops, screenings and displays. 

Things to do

The dockyards are the place to visit in Portsmouth if you want a day out discovering landmarks. There are exhibitions, artefacts and ships of the past on display. Collections include the Admiral Lord Nelson’s HMS Victory, the 16th-century Mary Rose and the HMS Warrior 1860, the world’s first iron-hulled, armoured warship. 

What’s not to like?

Portsmouth is the most densely populated city in the UK, so it might not be for you if you like the secluded way of life.  

Who lives there?

Portsmouth has a population of more than 230,000 and a median age of 39. 

Typical broadband speeds

The average broadband speed is 93mbps in Portsmouth, which is much higher than the UK national average of 67mbps.

Crime rates

The overall crime rate in Portsmouth averages around 115 crimes per 1,000 people. 

Moving to Portsmouth

Move iQ’s property report provides an in-depth analysis of specific properties as well as details about the local area of Portsmouth. If you’re thinking of moving, make sure you get one first! 

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Last Updated: May 26th, 2022

Phil Spencer

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