Scottish housebuyers, although keen on privacy, are still in search of a sense of community and reassured safety when they are hunting for a new home.
According to Clydesdale Bank’s quarterly Housebuyers Survey, 84% of house hunters think that the good old neighbourhood watch programme is a positive and reassuring thing in any community. Not only that, but almost three quarters (74%) of those new to the property ladder state that they would spend more on a house in an area that had a strong sense of community.
However, while it seems community spirit is alive and well, only 14% wanted to get to know their neighbours better. The research also unearthed that those at opposite ends of the age spectrum were more willing to build community and neighbourly relations. Some 18% of those in their 20s want to get to know their neighbours better and 65% of residents in the 60+ category want to live among neighbours they could socialise with.
Steve Reid, Clydesdale Bank’s retail director, said: “Having a sense of community is still a very important factor in the buying process and there is a genuine desire for neighborhood watch programmes and community groups. However, as earlier research by Clydesdale Bank has uncovered, people want the best of both worlds, mixing privacy in their home, whilst still holding on to community spirit.”
Although families top the charts when it comes to seeking out areas with community groups, those without children are the most community minded, with 72% of couples searching for homes with plenty of local shops and amenities and six out of 10 singles (60%) in search of neighbours to socialise with.
The research found that community policing was high on the agenda for all when house hunting, with three in five (66%) people considering a strong police or community support presence a real bonus. Couples (66%), new home owners (71%) and the over 60s (65%) all search for communities with positive police relations.
Some 61% of those surveyed revealed that areas operating a ‘no doorstep selling’ policy were a particular draw. Almost seven out 10 (69%) of the over 50s cited this as an important consideration with any move.
“Knowing your neighbour and having plenty of local amenities defines a community,” added Steve Reid. “However security and peace of mind also have to be considered when thinking about what community spirit means to people and it is these things that people are looking for when in search of a new home.”