News: Revival of traditional neighbourhood values?

Friendly neighbours and a sense of community are revealed as top priorities in a recent survey of British homebuyers, showing a revival in traditional neighbourly values.

The research, investigating what homebuyers look for in a positive living environment, showed that a sense of community spirit averaged four out of a possible five (1 being least important; 5 the most) for homebuyers when choosing a new area to live in. This rated only second in importance to a feeling of safety, which scored five out of five by all participants.

These community values have been reflected in the planning of Linden Homes’ new waterside village development, Water Colour in Redhill, Surrey, which aims to incorporate a number of the top priorities from the homebuyer wish list.

The survey results also reveal a desire in homeowners to improve their neighbourly relations. Following research last year showing that 59% of respondents did not even know the names of their neighbours, the latest survey revealed the majority of respondents hoped for a relationship beyond a mere polite acknowledgement with 41% wanting to engage in regular conversation. An encouraging 31% would want to feel confident enough to trust neighbours to hold their spare key or feed pets while away from home.

In today’s busy communities, people often live a long way from friends and family and have to rely on local friends and neighbours for support, especially in a crisis. In light of events such as the Buncefield oil explosion, and the recent council moves to introduce emergency plans into the community, residents may be looking increasingly to their neighbours to provide this sense of security.

Ian Randall, managing director of Linden Homes South East, commented: "These results show that a sense of community is once again of the utmost importance to homebuyers, who rate finding a home in pleasant, safe surroundings as a top priority when laying down roots."

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