‘Neighbours from hell’ are the biggest put-off for prospective buyers

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Neighbours selling a home

When you’re selling your home you can do everything right – tasteful decoration, clean rooms, tidy garden, make sure all appliances and fixtures are working – but your good work could be derailed by factors outside of your control.

For example, at Ocean Finance we recently did some research, and found that the biggest put-off for people looking to buy or rent a home is noisy neighbours. Over half (55%) of people we asked said they’d be put off by them.

Similarly, only 4% of people are put off by the idea of an overgrown garden (because it can be fixed), but over a quarter (28%) are put off by an untidy garden next door (because that’s something we can’t easily fix).

Other things that put people off are things that can be fixed – but perhaps not easily (or cheaply). For example, half (49%) are put off by mouldy rooms and 30% are deterred if there is no central heating.

It’s good to see that home buyers and renters are able to look past small cosmetic details like the decoration (which only 2% said would put them off) to the potential of the home itself.

However, it also depends how old you are. Younger people (aged 18-24) see ‘noisy neighbours’ as much less of an issue than older people (aged over 65) do. Only 35% of the younger generation said they’d be put off by this, compared to 65% of older people. It’s a possibility that the younger home buyers are the noisy neighbours.

Older people appear to be more resilient, though. 36% of 25-34 year olds would be put off if a house had no central heating, compared to 25% of 55-64s and 27% of people aged over 65. Older people are half as likely (10% of both 55-64 year olds and over 65s) to be deterred by a house with no double glazing than 21% of both 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds. Perhaps this is due to the fact that older people remember a time when central heating and double glazing weren’t as common – and they had to ‘make do’.

The full list of features that put people off is as follows:

Noisy neighbours (55%, equivalent to 28 million people)

Mouldy rooms (49%, 25 million)

The property is in a poor state of repair (43%, 22 million)

No central heating (30%, 15 million)

Untidy neighbouring gardens (28%, 14 million)

Unpleasant smells, such as smokers or animals (27%, 13.5 million)

Badly kept communal areas in flats or shared housing (16%, 8 million)

No double glazing (14%, 7 million)

Partially completed decorating or building work (8%, 4 million)

Stone cladding (7%, 3.5 million)

Brown/green bathroom suite (4%, 2 million)

Untidy/overgrown garden (4%, 2 million)

The decorating isn’t to our taste (2%, 1 million)

by Ocean Finance

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