Britain is made up of nosey neighbours!
By |Published On: 5th April 2016|

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Britain is made up of nosey neighbours!

By |Published On: 5th April 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

Britain is officially a country of nosey neighbours, according to new research.

Analysis from Direct Line shows 38% of Britons have snooped on the price of someone else’s property online. These include homes belonging to their family and friends!


The research revealed that 19 million Britons have looked up another property online. Of these:

  • 52% looked at their neighbours’ home
  • 38% snoop on homes belonging to their family
  • 31% have a nosey at their friends’ dwelling
  • 10% look at the homes of their work colleagues
  • 10 vet the homes of potential new partners
  • 9% even check the property of ex-lovers!

However, it is not only the price of a property that people are searching for when looking at a home. The research suggests that motivation can range from downright nosiness to fantasy.

63% of Britons were found to have window shopped for homes that they have no intention of ultimately purchasing.

Property obsession

Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line Home Insurance, noted, ‘we are a nation of property obsessives with very good reason. Our homes are our castles and becoming a homeowner or even climbing the ladder in the UK is a huge challenge and aspiration for many.’[1]

‘Property sites are a source of information and inspiration and browsing these sites has become something of a past-time for millions of people. The flip side of this trend is that those who list on these sites exhibit their homes and belongings to millions of strangers every day,’ Lomas continued.[1]

Britain is made up of nosey neighbours!

Britain is made up of nosey neighbours!

City snoopers

By region, the highest percentage of people found to browse property with no intention to buy was in Sheffield. The Steel City was closely followed by London and Newcastle. The top ten were as follows:

  • Sheffield-74%
  • London-72%
  • Newcastle-70%
  • Cardiff-65%
  • Plymouth-64%
  • Belfast-63%
  • Birmingham-62%
  • Brighton-61%
  • Edinburgh-61%
  • Liverpool-61%        [1]

Other potential reasons for using property websites to check on property include to gauge local prices, assessing potential purchase areas and simply daydreaming over an ideal home!

By percentage, Direct Line’s research shows that peoples’ motivation for looking online at property includes:

  • Keeping tabs on local prices-60%
  • Checking out potential purchase areas-40%
  • Daydreaming over an ideal home-34%
  • Looking for interior design ideas-29%
  • Assessing value on own home-26%


‘We are a nation obsessed with property and with technology at our disposal it is so much easier to keep in touch with the value of our property and those of our neighbours and friends,’ observes Daniel Bailey, of mortgage brokers Middleton Finance.

‘When are for sale sign appears on our streets we all jump on our laptops to seek the asking price of our neighbours’ property,’ he concluded.[1]


About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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