Bad neighbours drag property prices down by tens of thousands

Ryan Fowler

August 11, 2016

Bad or nuisance neighbour brings the value of the house next door down by 8.2%– or £17,321 based on the price of an average house – according to research by Privilege Home Insurance.

Some 92% of estate agents surveyed said that having a bad neighbour has a serious negative impact on the value of the houses around them and what buyers are prepared to pay.

By contrast, the experts questioned by Privilege assessed that a good neighbour next door positively affects the value of your house by 9.4%, adding £19,856 to the average property.

This means the difference between having a good neighbour and a bad neighbour is worth £37,177 to the average British householder. In London, where the average house costs £472,163, having a bad neighbour instead of a good one could therefore affect sellers to the tune of just over £83,100.

Broken or boarded up windows are the worst thing the house next door can have – thought to wipe nearly £23,000 off the average house at current market value. This is followed by an unsightly extension and having rubbish or junk in the driveway or front garden.

Rank Maintenance Issue -% Effect on Value Effect of value of ave. house
1 Broken or boarded up windows 10.7% -£22,602
2 Unsightly or imposing extensions and DIY 7.0% -£14,786
3 Rubbish or Junk in the driveway/front garden 6.1% -£12,885
4 Run down vehicles in the front drive 5.4% -£11,406
5 Garish/unsightly coloured external buildings/fixtures 4.8% -£10,139
6 Building work 4.7% -£9,928
7 Overgrown Garden 4.4% -£9,294
8 Rotting or chipped window or door frames 4.2% -£8,872
9 Overflowing gutters 3.6% -£7,604
10 Dirty brickwork or property frontage 3.5% -£7,393

The report also found that the worst neighbours are most likely to be a family living in London, where the parents are in their 40s and are unemployed. They are most likely to drive a Volkswagen and own a dog.

The best neighbours live in Plymouth, are retired 60 plus singletons who do not have a pet. They are most likely to drive a Nissan.

The top reason why people are unhappy or have argued with their neighbours is them being noisy (24 per cent), followed by being unfriendly (19 per cent) and having an untidy or overgrown front garden (17 per cent).

Top bad neighbourly behaviour

Rank Bad Neighbourly Behaviour Percentage
1 They’re noisy 23.7%
2 They’re unfriendly 18.9%
3 They have an untidy / overgrown garden 17.3%
4 They’re rude 17.2%
5 They have a loud dog 15.4%
6 They park across my drive 15.2%
7 They keep me awake at night 15.1%
8 They have loud arguments 14.1%
9 They hold loud parties 13.7%
10 They do DIY or housework at anti-social hours 13.6%

Of those questioned with bad neighbours, one in three (31%) said their neighbours make them want to move, and one in ten (12%) said they have tried to move or desperately want to as a result of their ongoing neighbourly feud.

Those in London are most likely to want to move away from their bad neighbours (18%), followed by the West Midlands (16%) and Yorkshire and Humber (14%).

Dan Simson, head of Privilege home insurance said: “Our increasingly hectic lives can mean that household maintenance falls to the bottom of the priorities list – especially for busy families. Yet this study shows that a poorly kept home can affect not just the value of your own property, but the value of those around you too.

“Sometimes fixing something like a broken window can seem like a burden both on time and finances, but it can also have a negative impact on the area as a whole. Most home insurance policies cover you for accidental damage, so people should check their documents – it might be an easier job than they think.”

Bad Neighbours by Region

City % with bad neighbours
London 54%
Newcastle 52%
Birmingham 50%
Cardiff 49%
Manchester 47%
Glasgow 47%
Liverpool 45%
Edinburgh 45%
Belfast 44%
Sheffield 43%
Southampton 38%
Norwich 37%
Nottingham 34%
Leeds 34%
Brighton 33%
Bristol 32%
Plymouth 28%

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