Archive for February, 2011

Colin Firth crowned nation’s ideal neighbour, according to


Colin Firth, the nation's ideal celebrity neighbour

Colin Firth, crowned the nation’s ideal neighbour

Very few of us need worry about a celebrity neighbour, but having the right celebrity on your street can benefit a neighbourhood and have a positive impact on home values, but the wrong celebrity can have the opposite effect. An unpopular celebrity can not only make a street less appealing, but potentially damage house prices.

Our recent Celebrity Neighbour Survey for 2011 clearly shows who you (over 4000 of you) believe would benefit and harm your street.

Colin Firth, who lives in Chiswick, West London where properties currently cost £647,988 on average according to us, confirmed his status as the man of the moment garnering more than 15% of the vote for most desirable celebrity neighbour. The ‘nation’s sweetheart’ Cheryl Cole was Firth’s nearest rival with nearly one in ten votes (9%), closely followed by Ant & Dec (also Chiswick residents) with 8.7%. Rounding off the top five most desirable neighbours were Jeremy Clarkson (8.1%) and Michael McIntrye (7.5%). And giving Cheryl Cole one more thing to tease her mentor over, Simon Cowell finds himself on the wrong list, coming in 10th place on Britain’s least desirable neighbour rankings with 2.7% of the vote.

In the stakes for least desirable celebrity neighbour Katie Price, (whose property is for sale on leaves all others in her dust with almost one in three respondents (29.1%) voting her the neighbour from hell. Her closest rivals for the top spot were Irish pop duo Jedward (12.6%), jungle hypochondriac Gillian McKeith (7.8%) and Dancing on Ice evictee Kerry Katona (7.6%) – see her property for sale on Alex Reid also made the top 10 least desirable list with 4.3% of the vote. And proving that he is trouncing his former wife for the public’s affections, Peter Andre just missed out on a spot in the top 10 most desirable celebrity neighbours, securing 13th place with 3% of the vote.

The former Cheshire home of Kerry Katona
on the market for £1.1m

Katie Price’s Surrey mansion
for sale at £2.95m

On the fence…

Proving that politics and popularity go hand in hand, David Cameron is one of only two names to appear on both the most and least desirable neighbours lists, gaining an almost equal share of the vote in both cases. The other name to appear on both lists, long known as a love him or hate him type and the ultimate marmite-celebrity, is Jeremy Clarkson although he did secure a notably higher share of the most desirable vote than least desirable.

The 10 most desirable celebrity neighbours

Rank Name % of votes
1 Colin Firth 15.1
2 Cheryl Cole 9
3 Ant & Dec 8.7
4 Jeremy Clarkson 8.1
5 Michael McIntyre 7.5
6 Wills & Kate 6
7 Heston Blumenthal 5.9
8 Richard Hammond 5.1
9 David Cameron 5
10 Stacey Solomon 4.5

Source:, Feb 2011

The 10 least desirable celebrity neighbours

Rank Name % of votes
1 Katie Price (Jordan) 29.1
2 Jedward 12.6
3 Gillian McKeith 7.8
4 Kerry Katona 7.6
5 David Cameron 5.2
6 Jeremy Clarkson 4.8
7 The Beckhams 4.5
8 Alex Reid 4.3
9 Andy Gray 3.1
10 Simon Cowell 2.7

Source:, Feb 2011

As always, please feel free to share and use this information, all we ask is that you credit the source as and link to either or Thank you.

Here’s the Celebrity Neighbour Survey for 2010

February 25, 2011 at 9:49 AM 1 comment

Is ID fraud another reason to hate your flatmates?

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

They steal your milk, eat your chocolate stash and leave their stuff all over the living room floor. Now, it turns out, your flatmate might be doing more damage than you thought.

Young people, particularly those in shared rented homes, are more than twice as likely as the rest of us to fall victim to identity fraud, according to some disturbing research that crossed FindaProperty’s desk recently.

And a quarter of identity fraud victims suspect it’s their flatmates or lodgers who are responsible for stealing their personal details.

The survey of more than 5,000 victims of identity fraud was conducted by Experian’s ProtectMyID, which offers insurance and support against ID fraud.

“Flat sharing and rental is fast becoming the best option for millions of Brits unable to provide the necessary deposits to make their first step up the property ladder,” says ProtectMyID’s Peter Turner. “In the majority of cases this is a great option to meet new people and experience living away from home for the first time.”

But as one of the fastest growing groups targeted by both professional and amateur fraudsters, flat sharers who live in rented accommodation need to be more vigilant to the dangers and effects of ID theft.

“By sharing your home, flatmate fraudsters have all the access they need to a vast amounts of your personal information in the way of post, personal documents and photos,” Turner warns.

He says there are a number of simple ways flatmates can rent a room without opening themselves up to ID fraud.

  1. Don’t publicise where your personal banking statements are kept in your room
  2. Make sure unused credit cards and cheque books are well hidden or locked away
  3. Keep PINS and passwords private – memorise security information rather than writing it down
  4. Don’t leave unopened mail lying around the house
  5. Delete your cookies and history when using a communal or personal computer

February 22, 2011 at 6:04 PM 3 comments

East London is the new cool and Keira Knightley knows it

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

FindaProperty’s eyebrows shot up a couple of weeks back when we learned that film and theatre star Keira Knightley had purchased a new home in East London’s Shoreditch for £2 million.

New East London resident Keira Knightley may frequent celebrity friendly haunts like Shoreditch House

But on second thoughts, it wasn’t really all that surprising, given East London has been on the up with artists, actors, musicians and TV personalities for the past few years.

Our sister site has been looking into what’s happening in East London and dug up some interesting stats.

According to the latest Prime Index, which tracks the top of the UK housing market, prime prices in East London have risen 1.5 per cent in 2011 so far. The real picture emerges when you compare this finding to what’s going on elsewhere in the capital. In North London – where Kate Moss and Jude Law have homes – prices were flat with no change on the previous month.

Savvy celebs, like Knightley, who’s currently starring in hit play The Childrens Hour in the West End, certainly seem to be increasingly turning to areas like Shoreditch and Bethnal Green where they get a better bang for their movie and music buck, as well as a more bohemian atmosphere.

Prime properties in East London start at £500,000, compared to nearly £1 million in the more traditional celeb-heavy areas of North London. So, it makes sense really, especially if you’re a young star who spends a fair whack of her time in Hollywood or New York.

For those that are interested, Knightley’s 18th Century Shoreditch mansion apparently doesn’t skimp on the glamour and includes a cinema room, a music parlour and a library to keep the famously reserved actor entertained.

Other East London-based celebrities include:

  • Bethnal Green – Alexa Chung (model and TV presenter)  and Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Kate Nash (singer), Jarvis Cocker (musician and DJ)
  • Spitalfields – Tracey Emin (artist), Jeanette Winterson (writer), Gilbert & George (artists)
  • Stamford Hill – Leona Lewis (singer)

February 21, 2011 at 1:02 PM Leave a comment

The Zoopla blog as a Wordle

February 21, 2011 at 10:09 AM Leave a comment

Locations with the most reduced property asking prices

Barnt Green, Birmingham – 20.4% reduction in price since coming to market

Our latest research shows that both the total number of ‘price-reduced’ properties on the market in the UK and the average amount by which they have been reduced have climbed over the past 3 months.

Key points:

  • Average asking price reduction climbs 16.3% over last 3 months to £18,475
  • 37.4% of all properties on market today have been reduced at least once
  • Average discount to original price now at 6.9%, up from 6.1% 3 months ago

As a result of weaker than expected demand in the last half of last year, those selling property have progressively reduced asking prices to more realistic levels in order to secure a buyer. The traditional influx of new properties on the market at the start of the year has created even more intense competition amongst sellers. Even the resilient £1m+ market is showing signs that it is not immune from the general economic pressures as reductions have jumped at that end of the market as well.

The findings show that, 37.4% of all properties listed for sale today have experienced at least one price reduction since coming to the market (up from 36.4% in November) and the average discount now stands at £18,475 or 6.9% off the original asking price (up from £15,879 or 6.1% in November).

Below are the areas with the most / least asking price reductions and areas with the hightest / lowest average asking price reductions.

Handy tip: Zoopla allows you to sort your search results by properties that are most-reduced in price and is proving a real hit amongst property hunters. Why not give it a go…

Top 10 Areas with Most House Price Reductions

Rank Location % of Homes on Market Reduced Avg. Price
Reduction (%)
Avg. Price
Reduction (£)
1 Birmingham 48.4% -7.1% -£11,547
2 Swindon 46.8% -6.6% -£13,330
3 Norwich 46.6% -6.7% -£15,198
4 Coventry 46.4% -7.6% -£11,825
5 Bournemouth 44.1% -6.8% -£17,425
6 Doncaster 44.0% -7.0% -£12,318
7 Wolverhampton 44.0% -6.5% -£9,366
8 Chesterfield 43.6% -6.3% -£8,927
9 Derby 42.7% -6.9% -£11,726
10 Poole 42.7% -6.6% -£26,498


Top 10 Areas with Highest Average Asking Price Reductions

Rank Location Avg. Price
Reduction (%)
Avg. Price
Reduction (£)
% of Homes on Market Reduced
1 Bolton -8.0% -£11,287 38.6%
2 Newcastle -8.0% -£17,641 30.5%
3 Rotherham -7.9% -£10,457 39.8%
4 Liverpool -7.9% -£12,936 35.5%
5 Maidstone -7.8% -£18,116 42.0%
6 Ashford -7.7% -£18,104 39.2%
7 Warrington -7.7% -£15,086 38.5%
8 Glasgow -7.6% -£10,340 40.4%
9 Coventry -7.5% -£11,825 46.4%
10 Manchester -7.5% -£11,937 32.8%


Top 10 Areas with Least House Price Reductions

Rank Location % of Homes on Market Reduced Avg. Price
Reduction (%)
Avg. Price
Reduction (£)
1 Chorley 24.1% -6.7% -£15,028
2 Newcastle 30.5% -8.0% -£17,641
3 York 31.5% -6.1% -£21,422
4 London 31.8% -6.6% -£45,664
5 Hull 32.5% -7.1% -£8,230
6 Manchester 32.8% -7.5% -£11,937
7 Stoke-on-Trent 33.2% -6.1% -£8,261
8 Wakefield 33.4% -6.4% -£12,809
9 Wigan 33.6% -6.7% -£8,853
10 Cardiff 34.1% -5.8% -£16,674


Top 10 Areas with Lowest Average Asking Price Reductions

Rank Location Avg. Price
Reduction (%)
Avg. Price
Reduction (£)
% of Homes on Market Reduced
1 Chelmsford -5.3% -£15,779 34.2%
2 Luton -5.7% -£11,238 40.7%
3 Cardiff -5.8% -£16,674 34.1%
4 York -6.1% -£21,422 31.5%
5 Stoke-on-Trent -6.1% -£8,261 33.2%
6 Northampton -6.1% -£11,377 41.7%
7 Leeds -6.3% -£12,074 35.6%
8 Chesterfield -6.3% -£8,927 43.6%
9 Wirral -6.3% -£11,600 42.1%
10 Brighton -6.3% -£21,716 38.1%


Here is the full list of 50 key locations with property price reductions and the full property price reduction research

As always, please feel free to share and use this information, all we ask is that you credit the source as and link to either or Thank you.

February 17, 2011 at 2:18 PM 3 comments

Older Posts

Zoopla Mobile & Tablet Apps

Grab the App

Search over 1 million properties for sale or to rent on our site from more than 18,000 agents and developers, including all of the UK's leading names.

Posts delivered hot and fresh to your inbox. Signup for free to subscribe, (No spam... ever) and join over 16,000 others.

Enter your email address below:

Recent Posts

Follow Zoopla


About the Zoopla blog

The Zoopla property blog is maintained and edited by the Web Content Editor @ Zoopla Property Group Ltd Myra Butterworth.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 602 other followers

%d bloggers like this: