Neighbours: everybody has them. Whether you live in a row of terraces or you're surrounded by acres of land, there's always someone living next door. How well do you know your neighbours? Do you know their name?
As part of our campaign to bring a fabulous surprise street party to one of our mortgage customers, we wanted to find out what the people of the UK really think about their neighbours. We conducted a survey of more than 2,000 UK residents; the results may very well surprise you...
Great British reserve?
The results suggested that the reserved British stereotype of old just might be softening! 38% of respondents say they have a good relationship with their neighbours and chat to them on a regular basis.
(However, that's not to say we know what to call them. 17% admit that they don't know their neighbour's first name)!
When it comes to knocking on doors and introducing ourselves, us Brits sit on the fence. Half of our respondents have zero qualms about doing this, but 47% are less inclined to come out of their shell, stating they lack the confidence to get stuck in...
Safe as houses
Nearly three quarters (74%) of those who say they have a good relationship with their neighbours say it makes them feel safer at home. 70% feel that knowing their neighbours makes them feel part of a community, whilst 58% believe it makes them care more for others in their neighbourhood.
Whether you get on with your neighbour or not, many seem to agree it's important to be there for them in times of need. Almost half (47%) say they have let their neighbours borrow something before, whilst more than a quarter (27%) have helped them out in times of crisis.
Our survey found that people who commit to buying their home also seem more committed to building relationships within their communities. Homeowners are more likely to have a good relationship with their neighbours, while also standing a better chance of knowing one another's names.
The statistics also reveal that homeowners are more likely than tenants to welcome new residents with a card or gift. They're also more likely to perform a good deed for their neighbour, such as mowing the lawn or looking after a pet.
So, which UK cities are most likely to give you a warm welcome as a new resident? Well, those surveyed in Glasgow (58%), Norwich (54%) and Newcastle (52%) came out on top when it comes to having a solid relationship with their neighbours.
It's the people of Southampton that ranked number one as Britain's nicest neighbours, however, 63% said they have either introduced themselves to a new neighbour or done them a favour. Southampton residents are also most likely to carry out a random act of kindness or help out their neighbours in a time of crisis - perfect for when you run out of sugar!
So, overall, we Brits are not so bad at being good neighbours - whether you're friendly with your fellow residents or not, you can typically rely on them to be there when it's needed. Getting to know your neighbours can make you happier, feel safer and give you someone to turn to when things go wrong - so what are you waiting for?
Want to find out more about our welcoming street party? Read all about it here!