Home » Society and Culture

Homeowners 'Increasingly Seek Privacy'

Mar 1, 2008
A growing number of homeowners are taking steps to cut themselves off from their neighbours in favour of more personal space in and around their homes, according to a new survey.

Yorkshire Bank's newly-published quarterly Housebuyers Survey shows that 53 per cent of homeowners prefer to keep to themselves, with 37 per cent saying that weeks can pass before they see their neighbours.

The research suggests that many homeowners may be taking out personal or home improvement loans to make enhancements to their gardens and homes for the sake of privacy. This seems particularly prevalent in the West Midlands where 79 per cent of residents favour privacy, compared with 33 per cent in London.

However, Londoners may claim not to crave private space in their homes and gardens but only 21per cent say they know their neighbours' full names.

Gary Lumby, Yorkshire Bank's head of retail, said that privacy and personal space are "high on the list of priorities" for homeowners who are keen to avoid what they perceive to be interfering neighbours.

"As increasing numbers of young professionals and first-time buyers are choosing to live in city centre apartment blocks or purpose-built flats, it seems that more of us aspire to own a property that offers plenty of privacy."

The desire to take out a home improvement loan to enhance privacy in the home and garden could also be the result of neighbourly disputes, such as parking in front of the house or shared driveways, according to Yorkshire Bank.

Last year, Halifax Estate Agents published the results of a study that showed privacy is important to homebuyers when it comes to choosing a garden.

Some 43 per cent of people surveyed said being overlooked by neighbours would put them off buying a property and this attitude is particularly prevalent in East Anglia, the south-west, Northern Ireland but not London.

London apart, the need for privacy among Britain's homeowners may be why almost 63 per cent of respondents said they would choose a house with established shrubs and trees.

Commenting on the findings, Colin Kemp, managing director of Halifax Estate Agents, said: "Homeowners should treat their garden as they would any other room in their home.

"Ensuring it is tidy and well kept can dramatically enhance the appeal of a property."

Halifax also found that the people who are most likely to want a big garden were young couples without children, homebuyers in rural areas, particularly Wales, East Anglia and the west country, are especially keen on garden space.

The research recommends that those who spend a lot of private time in their garden should brighten up their surroundings by including planted tubs or pots. These are easily moveable if strife with the neighbours prompts the decision to move to another property - and can be funded with cheap loans.

While improvements to privacy arrangements may be one reason to take out a personal loan, many are also using them to make green improvements around the home. The Co-op Bank has released research suggesting that a significant number of people are dedicating increasing time and resources to making such chages to their properties.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for AllAboutLoans.co.uk, an online loans comparison site, visit us today for information on all loan topics including secured loans UK applications and homeowner loans from all leading UK providers.
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