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Do you love thy neighbour?

"LOCATED in a friendly neighbourhood” has always been one of the boxes buyers want ticked in their search for a home.

Blame it on Neighbours, but Australians have long been known for loving to have the people next door over for a barbecue or having the kids growing up with built-in playmates in the street.

But it appears thing have changed.

A survey by realestate.com.au has found more than one-third of Australians have no interest in getting to know their neighbours; and it gets worse.

More than 15% of respondents admitted to going out of their way to avoid speaking to a neighbour and one in five have had a dispute with someone in their street.

Andrew Rechtman from realestate.com.au said the findings showed that for the most part Ramsay Street really is more fiction than fact.

"The results are somewhat surprising when you consider Australians are known for their relaxed and friendly nature, but it seems that doesn't always extend to our neighbours. We need to take a leaf out of Ramsay St.”

Mr Rechtman said the results go against what agents see from buyers who say they want strong ties to their local area.

"We know that when people are searching for a home one of the first questions they ask is - what are the neighbours like and what will my neighbourhood be like? Good neighbours can make or break a street,” he said.

"Stronger neighbourhood relationships foster a deeper sense of community and a greater support network.

"We know that more connected neighbours can lead to safer communities, as residents are more inclined to look out for one another.”

And while you might be inclined to think the study may have been city-centric, it wasn't.

The findings did not show a significant difference in responses between those living within a capital city and those living in regional and rural areas.

Responses were also similar between age groups.

"The common perception is that older Australians have stronger relationships with their neighbours than younger people, but it seems that isn't the case. Baby boomers are avoiding their neighbours just as much as Gen Y,” Mr Rechtman said.

Not so neighbourly

  • More than a third of Australians don't have any interest in getting to know their neighbours (37%)
  • 15% of Australians go out of their way to avoid speaking to neighbours
  • One in 10 admits to spying on a neighbour (10%)
  • One in five Australians has had a dispute with a neighbour (20%)
  • More than one in 10 uses their neighbour's bin without asking them (11%)


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