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Britain's 'knowsiest' neighbours revealed

15th Aug 2008

- Shropshire residents lead in the curtain twitching stakes -

New data out today shows that residents in the West Midlands county of Shropshire are the nation's 'knowsiest' neighbours, revealing that they do more research on house prices and are more up-to-date on their local property market than people anywhere else in Britain.

Zoopla.co.uk, the UK's leading property valuation website, created the 'Knowsiness Index' based on the number of unique property value searches conducted per visit to its website over the past six months. The current market downturn has further demonstrated the nation's insatiable appetite for house price data, with Zoopla.co.uk being the fastest growing property website in the UK, recording over a search per second on its website.

Shropshire residents came out on top as the property-savviest in Britain, doing more homework on current property values, sold prices and local statistics than anywhere else. Residents here average 3.98 searches per visit, well above the national average of 3.36.

Also amongst the 'knowsiest' neighbours demonstrating their property smarts were residents of neighbouring Herefordshire, who conduct 3.85 searches per visit and Warwickshire coming in with 3.79.

Overall, homeowners in England were revealed as being much more 'in the know' when it comes to their local property market than in either Wales or Scotland, with an average of 3.42 searches per visit in England versus 3.18 and 3.05 for Wales and Scotland respectively.

Top Ten Curtain-Twitchers in Britain

  Area Searches per visit 'Knowsiness' Index
1 Shropshire 3.98 117.5
2 Herefordshire 3.85 113.8
3 Warwickshire 3.79 112.1
4 Somerset 3.72 109.8
5 Norfolk 3.71 109.7
6 Dorset 3.64 107.5
7 Kent 3.61 106.7
8 Denbighshire 3.60 106.6
9 Bedfordshire 3.59 106.3
10 Northamptonshire 3.58 106.1

Perhaps unsurprisingly given higher property prices, the results show that homeowners in Southern and Central England carry out more research than their counterparts in Northern England, Scotland and Wales. More surprisingly however, Londoners were noticeably absent from the top of the list, coming in at 27th place in the 'Knowsiness Index', indicating a lack of vital research and value monitoring in a location where prices reach their peak.

Top Five Curtain-Twitchers in Scotland

Area Searches per visit 'Knowsiness' Index
Aberdeenshire 3.35 99.1
Angus 3.23 95.4
Perthshire 3.05 90.2
Midlothian 3.02 89.4
Ayrshire 3.01 89.3

Scottish residents fall well behind when it comes to doing their homework on the local property market and potentially risk losing thousands of pounds through poorly-informed property decisions. Identified as the least-savvy property researchers in Britain, Stirlingshire residents came in last place conducting only 2.49 searches per visit. Whilst Aberdeenshire locals led the pack in Scotland, carrying out 3.35 searches, the results there were still below the national average showing a lack of property-led research.

Top Five Curtain-Twitchers in Wales

Area Searches per visit 'Knowsiness' Index
Denbighshire 3.60 106.6
Glamorgan 3.30 97.6
Flintshire 3.02 89.2
Carmarthenshire 2.92 86.3
Monmouthshire 2.55 75.3

Welsh residents scored slightly better, led by the 'knowsy' residents in the North Wales county of Denbighshire, who came in 8th place overall with 3.60 searches per visit. At the other end of the index, Monmouthshire residents were near the bottom in 53rd place, falling short in the research stakes.

Alex Chesterman, CEO of Zoopla.co.uk, commented:

"Long gone are the days when being 'knowsy' about property values was taboo. It's easy to understand why property values are a national obsession when one considers how much of the average person's wealth is tied up in the value of their home. With so much data now publicly available, if anything, not doing your own homework puts you at a direct disadvantage in the property game, especially in the current climate. Our unique database of all 27 million UK homes allows users to freely research current property values and prices paid on any home - theirs or anyone else's - along with local stats and value trends. Never before has keeping up with the Jones's been so easy or essential."

- Ends -

For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at pr@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 3872 5615.

Notes to Editor

Top Twenty Areas with 'Knowsiest' Neighbours in Britain in full

  Area Searches per visit 'Knowsiness' Index
1 Shropshire 3.98 117.5
2 Herefordshire 3.85 113.8
3 Warwickshire 3.79 112.1
4 Somerset 3.72 109.8
5 Norfolk 3.71 109.7
6 Dorset 3.64 107.5
7 Kent 3.61 106.7
8 Denbighshire 3.60 106.6
9 Bedfordshire 3.59 106.3
10 Northamptonshire 3.58 106.1
11 Buckinghamshire 3.58 105.8
12 Suffolk 3.56 105.3
13 Middlesex 3.55 104.9
14 Cambridgeshire 3.54 104.7
15 Surrey 3.52 104.1
16 Hertfordshire 3.50 103.4
17 Cornwall 3.46 102.3
18 Essex 3.46 102.3
19 Gloucestershire 3.44 101.8
20 Berkshire 3.42 101.1

Zoopla Awards

  • Winner: 'UK's Most Promising Internet Company 2008' (First Tuesday)

What is Zoopla?

Zoopla is a revolutionary online publishing service and community website providing information and tools to give users an advantage in the UK residential property market. Our aim is to create a transparent marketplace and we believe that information should be free and easily accessible to everyone.

How did it start? In early 2007, following the success of bringing DVD rental to the internet with LOVEFiLM.com, Zoopla founders Alex Chesterman and Simon Kain realised that the internet had yet to deliver meaningful change to the UK property market. It became clear that consumers lacked essential tools and information to help them understand home values, view similar properties, learn about past transactions...

...and then we thought:

  • Why not offer users a tool to get access to FREE, instant value estimates on their homes or anyone else's?
  • Why not let buyers make offers on ANY home, instead of just the 4 per cent of homes currently on the market 'for sale'?
  • Why not let owners find out if there is any market interest in their homes without having to list them 'for sale'?
  • Why not let agents and sellers market their 'for sale' listings FREE by providing them with easy-to-use tools?
  • Why not let anyone ask/answer questions and share their knowledge about any homes or neighbourhoods?
  • Why not put current value estimates, sold prices, homes for sale and local information all together in one place?

So, we have started by providing FREE value estimates and sold prices on homes, allowing sellers and agents to list homes for sale FREE, and letting all users edit information and upload photos. We have also launched some unique features, like TemptMe™ and AskMe™, which allow users to gain an insight into the market and discover information they won't find anywhere else.

By making TemptMe™ offers, buyers can try to entice owners to consider selling. Owners also benefit from this unique feature by being able to see what level of interest there is on their home without actually having to list it for sale.

The AskMe™ community feature allows anyone to find out more about any home or neighbourhood that they are interested in by posting questions for those in the know to answer.

Zoopla value estimates are calculated using a proprietary algorithm (secret formula) that we have developed by analysing millions of data points relating to property sales and home characteristics throughout the UK. The algorithm works by comparing relationships between home prices, economic trends and property characteristics in given geographic areas. Our estimates are constantly refined by our team of analysts, using the most recent data available and a variety of statistical methodologies, in order to provide the most current information on any home.

Zoopla Limited is a privately held company, backed by leading international venture capital firm Atlas Venture.

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