2012 – The year of the neighbour

As thousands of communities have come together for sporting and jubilee events, a new survey reveals that the UK is becoming a more neighbourly nation. 
The annual HSBC Neighbours Survey, which is published ahead of Neighbourhood Watch Week, reveals that we are having more interactions with the people we live near.  Neighbourhood Watch Week this year is from 16th to 24th June.
Compared to last year’s survey, people are 14% more likely to have been inside their neighbour’s home, with 56% of respondents saying they had over the last year.  People were also 15% more likely to have lent their neighbours something, and 9% more likely to look after the spare keys of a neighbour. 
The top ten interactions with neighbours are listed below:
1. Been inside their home — 56% in 2012 (42% in 2011)
2. Invited them into your home — 47% (37%)
3. Lent them something — 43% (28%)
4. They have lent you something — 33% (26%)
5. Feed their pets/water plants when away — 29% (16%)
6. They feed your pets/water plants when away — 28% (13%)
7. They keep your spare house keys — 22% (10%)
8. You keep their spare house keys — 21% (12%)
9. Had barbeques together — 14% (11%)
10. Your children play together — 12% (7%)
Regional variations in neighbourliness remain.  Those who live in the North East of England are most likely to know their neighbours ‘very well’.  In this area 27% claimed they knew their neighbours very well, compared with the UK average of 16%, and only 10% of those who live in London.
The upturn in neighbourliness is not confined to those who own their own home.  Renters are also more likely to get to know the people who live near to them.  41% of those who rent their home have been inside their neighbour’s house.  This is a rise of 13% from 2011.  16% more renters have borrowed something from their neighbours, with 32% reporting that they had in 2012.  
Despite the apparent improvement in neighbourly relations, some of the most common causes of aggravation remain.  19% of those who were surveyed complained about neighbours stealing parking spaces.  14% complained about annoying pets, and 12% were fed up with loud music.  
Pete Dockar, Head of Mortgages at HSBC commented:
“It was great to see communities across the nation coming together to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, and no doubt many more parties are planned to mark the Olympics.  Getting to know your neighbours can create a real sense of community spirit and it’s great to have someone to call on when you need them most.”
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