Property investment often boils down to location, but a new survey has revealed buyers should be looking out for more than just good local schools and facilities when hunting for real estate. Research by Primelocation suggests checking out the neighbours is a crucial move, as 57 per cent of people surveyed consider having loud or anti-social people next door as the biggest turnoff when it comes to house purchases.
This percentage is even higher in the east and north-east of England, with 61 per cent of respondents claiming noisy neighbours are a no-no when looking for a new home. Conversely, just over half of Londoners (52 per cent) are worried about having rowdy people next door.
Lawrence Hall from Primelocation commented: "Discerning buyers don't simply look for a good location but want to live in a good neighbourhood too. The quality of the neighbours and the security of the property are both clearly important factors for prime buyers."
It seems who lives next door is an important issue for Britons, with research from the Yorkshire Building Society showing that only 46 per cent trust their neighbours. Some 28 per cent resolutely don't trust those living next to them, while a shocking 26 per cent don't even know their neighbours. This situation looks set to deepen with the next generation, with only 30 per cent of people between 16 and 24 saying they trust the people next door. Conversely, almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of people over 55 have faith in their neighbours.
Only 34 per cent of Britons claim they would welcome newcomers to their area, while one in ten admit being suspicious of new residents. Chris Pilling, Yorkshire Building Society's chief executive, said: "The UK has always been very proud of its community spirit but it seems neighbourliness is not as prevalent as we might think."
For investors, it could pay to ask current residents what the neighbours and the general community is like or to speak to those next door. This will give an accurate picture of the area and could make you aware of issues that wouldn't normally be communicated by a real estate agent.
- Thursday 09 May 2013