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Zoopla reveals Britain's most 'hawk-eyed' homeowners... and 'nosiest' neighbours

6th November 2017

  • Bedford has the most ‘hawk-eyed homeowners’ in Britain, with residents checking the value of their own property more times than any other town
  • Reading is home to Britain’s ‘nosiest neighbours’ – 61 per cent ‘nosier’ than the average Brit
  • Middlesbrough residents mind their own business and are least likely to compare property values
  • Homeowners in Bedford are the most ‘hawk-eyed’ in Britain, according to the latest analysis from property website, Zoopla. The analysis found that owners in the commuter belt town are most likely to keep close tabs on how their property value is performing - checking it 67 per cent more than the average Brit. Meanwhile, Reading is home to Britain’s ‘nosiest neighbours’; residents here are the most interested in what’s happening to house prices over the fence, checking out how nearby properties measure up 61 per cent more often than the average homeowner.

    Zoopla put together the ‘hawk-eyed homeowner’ and ‘nosey neighbour’ indices by looking at how many free instant property valuations were run by home owners and neighbours over the past year, and comparing the biggest towns to a national average.

    After Bedford, Milton Keynes and Colchester came in second and third place for the most ‘hawk-eyed homeowners’, with locals keeping a watchful eye on their property’s value more than the average Brit (62 per cent and 56 per cent respectively).

    After Reading, Britain’s ‘nosiest neighbours’ are found in Cambridge and Bedford, with homeowners checking surrounding property prices 52 per cent and 51 per cent more than average. In contrast, Middlesbrough is home to seemingly the most ambivalent residents, with homeowners revealed to be the least likely to compare property values on both sides of the fence.

    On a regional level, the figures highlight a clear north-south divide. The most ‘hawk-eyed’ residents are found in the South East, and Londoners are the most likely to investigate how neighbouring property values are faring. Whereas Scotland’s residents appear to mind their own business and are the least likely to check their own home’s value (32 per cent below average) and surrounding property prices (40 per cent below average) compared to the typical homeowner in Britain).

    It appears that the higher the average property value is in an area, the higher the levels of interest are. The average property price of the top 10 most ‘hawk-eyed’ towns is £319,080 – almost twice the value of those in the bottom 10 (£162,817). Of the top 10 ‘hawk-eyed’ towns, seven have experienced property price rises, which perhaps explains why they check in so regularly. Ipswich residents saw their home values rise the most over the last year, with an increase of 4.74 per cent over the last 12 months. Meanwhile, four of the bottom 10 – those who check least regularly – have seen house prices fall, with the biggest drop in Middlesbrough (-2.8 per cent).

    Lawrence Hall, spokesperson for Zoopla, comments: “Keeping a close eye on the value your own home and neighbouring properties gives you a good indication of how your local property market is performing. If you are looking to move, doing your research and speaking to your local agent is essential to gathering the knowledge you need to help you make more informed decisions. Homeowners in Bedford and Reading clearly have their finger on the pulse and are keeping an eye on developments not only within their own four walls, but also over the fence.”

    Top 10 towns for 'hawk-eyed' homeowners

    Ranking Town Valuations run (as % above British average) Average property price October 2017 (£) Increase/decrease in avg property value in last 12 months (%)
    1 Bedford 67% £326,153 2.12%
    2 Milton Keynes 62% £306,206 2.22%
    3 Colchester 56% £315,544 -0.52%
    4 Reading 56% £418,109 -0.66%
    5 Swindon 53% £254,251 3.24%
    6 Northampton 46% £249,190 1.56%
    7 Bristol 39% £318,940 2.66%
    8 Cambridge 35% £455,524 1.13%
    9 Southampton 31% £282,931 -0.42%
    10 Ipswich 28% £263,956 4.74%

    Source: Zoopla, October 2017

    Top 10 towns for 'nosey neighbours'

    Ranking Town Valuations run (as % above British average) Average property price October 2017 (£) Increase/decrease in avg property value in last 12 months (%)
    1 Reading 61% £418,109 -0.66%
    2 Cambridge 52% £455,524 1.13%
    3 Bedford 51% £326,153 2.12%
    4 Milton Keynes 47% £306,206 2.22%
    5 London 47% £748,065 0.46%
    6 Colchester 43% £315,544 -0.52%
    7 Bristol 25% £318,940 2.66%
    8 Coventry 17% £196,491 2.78%
    9 Swindon 16% £254,251 3.24%
    10 Northampton 16% £249,190 1.56%

    Source: Zoopla, October 2017

    - Ends -

    For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at or on 020 3872 5615.

    Notes to editors

    Zoopla is the UK's most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering users with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help consumers both find their next home and research the market by combining hundreds of thousands of property listings with market data, local information and community tools.

    At Zoopla we are fans of transparency and everything we do is aimed at making the market more efficient for both property consumers and advertisers alike. Zoopla has rapidly become the UK’s leading online destination for property consumers to search for homes and do their market research and the favoured online marketing partner for UK estate agents, letting agents and property developers.

    Launched in 2008, Zoopla has since been one of the fastest growing websites in the UK, now attracting over 40 million visits per month and we are proud to have collected numerous awards and accolades along the way, including being named one of the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and one of the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta).

    Zoopla is part of Zoopla Limited which was founded in 2007.

    Zoopla Limited, The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH
    Registered in England and Wales with Company No. 09005884
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