Is the age of knowing your neighbours becoming a thing of the past?
A new poll of more than 1,000 UK homeowners, conducted by pension advice specialist, Portafina, suggests it may be.
However, where you live, the type of property you live in, and your age, may be playing a significant role in your willingness to chat with your neighbours.
The overall findings from across the UK highlighted that less than a third (29%) of those polled ‘live in a friendly neighbourhood and all talk’, and one in six (15%) feel they may have nothing in common with their neighbours.
Only 23% class their neighbours as friends, 22% spent less than five minutes in conversation with a neighbour in the last month, and 10% have had cause to complain to those residing next door.
The top five reasons we don’t speak to our neighbours:
1. Not wanting to invade their privacy (22%)
2. Liking our own privacy (20%)
3. Concern that we would have nothing in common (15%)
4. Being new to an area, and not having met neighbours yet (13%)
5. Believing that our neighbour doesn’t like us (12%)
The main reason that we will make the effort to speak to a neighbour is to pick up a parcel (40%).
Grace Jackson, 26, from Manchester said: “I live in an apartment block in the city centre. I really worry about bothering my neighbours. The walls are paper thin so every time I get in late from a night out, or put a bit of music on, I know they probably hear it. It does put me off speaking to them.”
If a neighbour is aged over 65, they are most likely to offer acknowledgement, be it a courteous ‘hello’ or a friendly nod every day (38%), and over half (57%) will keep an eye on the next door property if the owners are on holiday.
Derek Peterson, 67, from Swindon said: “My wife and I have lived in the same detached suburban property for over 20 years. We’ve known a lot of our neighbours for many of these years, and we’ve become friends over time. It wasn’t a quick process, but we tried to always be cordial and helpful and they returned the favour. Having neighbours that will keep an eye on your home when you’re away, or drop by if you’re ill is lovely.”
Across the whole of the UK, the five locations with the friendliest neighbours, (based on time spent chatting with next door on average per month), were:
1. Norwich (50 minutes)
2. Glasgow (43 minutes)
3. Dublin (40 minutes)
4. Nottingham (40 minutes)
5. Newcastle (37 minutes)
Jamie Smith-Thompson, managing director at Portafina said: “We may not communicate as much as we did 20 years ago, but our neighbours always seem to come up trumps when we need them most.”