Rightmove has put out the most extraordinary press release, stating that their research shows there are just under 50 households selling up every day to get away from the people who live next door! Apparently over 17,000 house sellers will be moving home this year because they “don’t like their neighbours”. This year is expected to see a similar level of transactions as the 866,000 recorded in 2011. Even in this market!
Lessons in this for all home buyers huh! Rightmove director Miles Shipside has commented (rather wisely): “Home movers carry out lots of research before they buy their next home, including what prices are being paid in the street and how the accommodation sizes up, but the first time they meet and size up their neighbours is probably after they’ve moved in.
“In the current economic climate where people must work hard to progress, and even hold onto, their careers, we are increasingly looking to our homes as a sanctuary to relax and unwind. If our troubles are persisting when we get home at night due to unruly neighbours then that can present a real problem and is an understandable driver to move on.” Rightmove also concludes, rather bleakly, that with transaction levels running at around half of historic norms “there could well be the same number of people stuck in their current homes and wishing they could get away!”
I think this is simply amazing (if a little depressing). And there must also be lessons in this for UKR. After all, we take a community-led approach to populating our new “village” style developments. We’re currently undertaking a massive think-in about the sort of places we’re trying to create, the facilities, services and events we will have on offer and describing the experience of what it would feels like to be there. We then go on to clarify precisely the market for the offer and experience, be it a target occupier, the people who will work there, live there, play there, learn there or visit, understanding precisely what the market is looking for in the place, how it will use the place and how it behaves. This is a lot of fun and a lot of hard work (but I promise you all I will stop banging on about Malcolm Allan and his placematters soon).
And what we’ve concluded is that our market will be economically active people, or (and this is uber-important) those who choose to become economically active. Those who wish to invest in their careers by locating to a place where they can have the optimum economic activity. Our target market is people who will be actively choosing to live with our people. We turn it on its head. Our people are our assets. And our rules will be consensual and determined by our communities.