House-proud neighbours are luck of the draw but those fortunate enough to have them get the added boost of an extra £20,000 on their property’s value.
Underlining the importance homebuyers place on good neighbours, a well-kept nearby home can increase a house price by more than 10%, according to estate agents polled by Churchill home insurance.
Boarded-up or broken windows in a next-door home are the number one property price killer, estate agents said. A neighbour with rubbish in front of the house or a rundown car in the drive has a similar effect, potentially slashing values by more than a good neighbour will add.
Even garish paintwork, overflowing gutters and dirty windows in a neighbouring home can devalue a property.
However, upstanding neighbours are not the only fortuitous factor that can significantly affect property prices.
One in five prospective buyers would be happy to pay more for a property with a high-speed broadband connection, according to a study by broadbandchoices.co.uk. A third of those said they would pay up to 5% more, which could add £15,000 to the value of a £300,000 property.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “In this digital age, a fast broadband connection is becoming more and more important for home-hunters. People don’t just rely on a good internet connection for browsing the web, but also television entertainment and working from home.”
Close proximity to top performing state schools is another bonus for homeowners. Last year house prices in the postal districts of the top 30 English state schools for GCSE results were £33,600 higher than their neighbouring locations in their county, found research by according to Lloyds TSB.
Parents will pay even more to live closer to prep schools according to Ed Cunningham, partner in the Knight Frank country department. He commented: “Prices tend to be stronger around prep schools than secondary schools, primarily due to the fact of the school run.
“Families tend to have two or three children at the same prep school, at different ages and, therefore, have different finishing times. As a result, houses within a 5-10 mile radius tend to outperform similar size houses outside this crucial catchment area.”
Another aspect outside of an owner’s control but with a strong influence on prices is crime. Parts of the UK with the lowest crime levels feature house prices 6.7 times higher the average local income, compared with the country average of 5.4, according to Halifax.
Local planning applications and transport links are two other influences on a house price that you can’t do anything about yourself – except perhaps lobby your local MP.
See what an 'average' house looks like in different parts of the UK