Chester and Salford were both named in the top five locations in Britain ranked by "affordable affluence" in a report today by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The RBS study gauged different towns and cities by "the facilities, services and amenities needed to support an affluent lifestyle, combined with affordable property prices and cost of living."
The Yorkshire market town of Beverley came top, with Maidstone in second, Chester third, Perth fourth and Salford in fifth.
The excellence of Chester's schools and good supply of modern housing in the city's suburbs were cited in the report as reasons for its high placing.
Of Salford the report's authors said: "A phenomenal programme of investment in culture and the proximity to the sporting 'Mecca' of Old Trafford has seen a rejuvenation of Salford."
The report added that property in Salford is very varied but closeness to Manchester ensured average family income (£33,000 but varying from £26,000 to £48,000 by ward) can be well above the national average.
Felicity Goodey, chairman of Central Salford, the urban regeneration company, said: "Courageous investment in cultural icons like The Lowry is paying off and investment is now strong in many areas but we will not be satisfied until all parts of Salford are enjoying the benefits highlighted by the RBS survey.
"Local people must also be able to take full advantage of the new opportunities. Friendly neighbourhoods and vibrant communities are more important to most people than designer shops – though we are happy to have them too!"