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Avoiding crime hotspots is top priority for house-hunters

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'Location, location, location' may still be the mantra for wannabe homebuyers but when it comes to picking the best position, avoiding areas of crime is top priority.

A study by mortgage and secured loan broker Ocean Finance found the majority of adults in the UK (60%) – equivalent to 30.1 million people – consider safety to be one of the three most important factors when considering where to live.

Half (49%) of respondents would make finding somewhere quiet a priority, while only 1% said they would like to live in a “lively” area.

The survey asked 2,061 people to select the three most important criteria for choosing a new home – whether to buy or rent – outside the actual property itself.

Availability of parking (35%), closeness of family and local public transport links (both 27%), and being near schools or within a catchment area (25%) were also considered important factors.

When asked to select the two criteria which would most put them off a property, being located in an area known for crime came top, with 72% of adults saying this would discourage them. Londoners had the highest tolerance for crime in the UK, with fewer respondents in the capital (60%) saying it would put them off.

Being located near a sewage works would deter 43% from buying a property and being under a flight path or near an airport would discourage 25%.

And although some people may dream of being right next door to a pub or restaurant, 14% said it would definitely put them off moving in.

Ian Williams of Ocean Finance said: “The old adage about the three most important factors when choosing a property being ‘location, location and location’ hasn’t changed – but it is interesting to see what factors drive that choice of location. Whilst avoiding areas of high crime is obvious, the importance of being able to park nearby and avoiding noise may be less so.

“Of course, finding a property you can afford to buy or rent is the main driver, but as a nation we remain very clear about where we do, and don’t, want to live.”

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