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Housebuyers Hunt For Community Spirit

23rd April 2008


  • 74% of housebuyers value a neighbourhood watch programme
  • Almost half of housebuyers would spend more on a home in an area with a strong sense of community
  • However only one in five want to get to know their neighbours better


British 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 Yorkshire Bank’s quarterly Housebuyers Survey, 74% of housebuyers think that the good old British neighbourhood watch programme is positive and reassuring, while over half (54%) of those new to the property ladder would spend more on a house in an area with a strong sense of community.


However, while it seems community spirit is alive and well, less than one in five (18%) 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, with 21% of those in their 20s wanting to get to know their neighbours better and 67% of residents in the 60+ category wanting to live amongst neighbours they could socialise with.


Gary Lumby, Yorkshire Bank’s head of retail, 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 Yorkshire Bank uncovered, people want the best of both worlds, mixing privacy in their home whilst still holding onto community spirit.”


Community Couples
Although families top the charts when it comes to seeking out areas with community groups, couples are the most community minded. Some 66% of people surveyed search for homes with plenty of local shops and amenities and six out of 10 (60%) search for neighbours to socialise with.


Local Policing
Yorkshire Bank’s research found that community policing was high on the agenda for all when house hunting, with three in five (59%) considering a strong police or community support presence a real bonus. Couples (63%), new home owners (71%) and the over 60s (71%) all search for communities with positive police relations.

Stepping Up
Some 60% of those surveyed revealed that areas operating a ‘no doorstep selling’ policy were a particular draw, with almost seven out 10 (68%) of the over 50s citing this as an important consideration with any move.


“Knowing your neighbour and having plenty of local amenities defines a community,” added Gary Lumby. “However security and peace of mind also have to be considered when thinking about what community spirit means to people. It is these things that people are looking for when in search of a new home.”


Notes to Editor
Research conducted on behalf of Yorkshire Bank and sister Clydesdale Bank by Consumer Analysis Ltd. on a sample of 1,000 people during January 2008.
About Yorkshire Bank
Yorkshire Bank was founded in 1859 in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Yorkshire Bank has 190 retail branches, a strong personal customer base and a growing business capability in the North of England and the Midlands. Yorkshire Bank is a trading name of Clydesdale Bank plc, a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank Group of companies. Yorkshire Bank joined the Group in 1990. In 2006, Yorkshire Bank was voted the UK's 'Best Business Bank' by the Forum of Private Business.


For more media information contact:
Carol Young     Yorkshire Bank 0845 60 35 44 77   07764 975 460

Diane Roskell / Kelly Gough / James Hickman  Ptarmigan Consultants  0113 242 1155

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