According to a new report from TSB, us Brits are actually friendlier than you might think.

‘Love thy neighbour’ is making a comeback across the UK as a larger than expected number of people are not just keeping up with the Jones’s, but are good friends with them too.

A new report from TSB Mortgages, which looked at relationships, friendships and partnerships across local communities in the UK has challenged the notion that our communities are becoming more isolated.

According to the study, 80% of Brits know their neighbour’s names, 47% speak to them regularly and almost a third (31%) would consider them friends. When asked, 10% said that they’d like to know their neighbours better and 52% of people said that feeling ‘part of a community’ was important to them.

TSB found that the picture was fairly consistent across the country, however only 72% of those living in the capital knew their neighbour’s names, which was the lowest in the country. However, London had one of the highest rates of people who considered their neighbours as friends (33%). This could perhaps indicate that in faster-paced urban areas, people tend to forge fewer but stronger connections to each other.

Friends Nearby

As well as looking at neighbours, the research also looked at friendship groups, finding that women tend to have fewer friends in their local area, with an average of six, compared to men who had an average of seven pals living close by. Men were more likely to socialise with their friends at the pub than women (43% of men, 28% of women) whereas almost six-in-10 (59%) women said they spent more time socialising with friends at home.

Interestingly one-in-five (21%) women said they combined socialising with friends and the school-run, tending to catch-up with other parents whilst picking up and dropping off kids. This is compared to just one-in-eight (13%) men.

Ian Ramsden, TSB Mortgages Director, said: “It seems the traditional image of Brits politely nodding to their neighbour as they scurry through their front door may no longer be accurate, as new research from TSB Mortgages has found that almost half of us speak to our neighbours regularly and one-in-three people class them as friends.

At TSB Mortgages, we know a home is more than a house. The relationship we have with our neighbours and our local community can really make a place feel like home. As the speed of life has increased with more people spending less time catching up face-to-face, and more time keeping in touch online and on social media – it’s great to see that the majority of us have friendly faces right on our doorstep.”

The data was gathered as part of TSB’s series of HOME reports – looking at the way modern homeowners live in and relate to their local communities. The latest report ‘The Ideal Community Checklist’ found that homeowners most wanted a Post Office, a local bank and a baker on their high street, with over half (52%) of people saying that feeling part of a community was important to them. The next HOME report, examining the differences and similarities between virtual communities and physical communities will be published at the end of this month.

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