Reading property: Nine in ten look up how much neighbours and friends paid for homes

More than nine in ten people in Reading have looked up how much people they know have paid for their home - new figures suggest.

Around 94 per cent of people in the Berkshire town searched how much their colleagues, family members, and even their boss spent on their properties.

People in the town are among the most likely to spy on the purchase prices of their neighbours, family and friends - according to new research from Zoopla.

Meanwhile, others chose to snoop on their co-workers. A fifth (22 per cent) looked up how much a colleague paid, and six per cent admitted to searching their boss's home!

Curious locals were also driven by nostalgia, with 22 per cent looking up an old property they had sold to someone else.

A small number of super-nosy residents (4 per cent) admitted that they even checked up on their ex-partner's home.

Should you ask someone how much their home cost?

Well, 61 per cent think there's nothing wrong with asking someone how much their home is worth, and are happy to discuss property prices.

However, 22 per cent are more reserved around the topic, which they say is off-limits, believing it to be "rude."

Others want to avoid the conversation altogether, with 39 per cent saying they would never ask someone what they paid for their home.

Instead, locals are using Zoopla's My Home experience which tells residents a property's estimated value and how much money was paid.

While spying on other people's property value appears to be popular among Reading residents, not everyone is honest about it. Just over half (52 per cent) said they would never admit this to the owner whose home they searched!

The town also contains some serial-researches, with 31 per cent of people opening up about snooping on others "regularly."

What did the snoopers find out?

The research of Reading residents also revealed some of the assumptions made when looking up the property prices of others.

Almost a fifth (19 per cent) of people in the town said they assumed the person whose property they researched had more money than they originally thought.

However, 11 per cent claimed that looking at the property price of someone else made them assume the person in question had a large salary.

But the reactions weren't all finance-related - resident's research appeared to change the way they see others.

A total of 17 per cent were surprised at how nice the home they found was, and 28 per cent said their research made them think that the person in question had great taste.

Just over one in ten people were also surprised by how big people's homes were. Perhaps people who live in Reading are both nosy and modest!

Mark Wright, Regional Residential Sales Director at Reading estate agency Romans, said that "The insights from Zoopla clearly demonstrate that residents in Reading are curious when it comes to property prices, especially those of their nearest and dearest."

He added that it is "always interesting to see what friends and family have paid for properties and with information easily accessible on websites like Zoopla, the conversation around home prices won’t run dry anytime soon."

Tom Parker, Consumer Spokesperson at Zoopla, added: "The people of Reading clearly love talking about property prices but a fifth of residents in the town admit it’s still a taboo to ask someone what they paid for their property."

"Luckily for the shy price hunters, how much a home sold for is easy to find on Zoopla . Whether it's a friend, family member or neighbour, it’s clear that people in Reading want to know more about the homes they live in."

He added that "This data isn’t just there just to satisfy Reading’s nosy habits. Zoopla’s My Home experience has been designed to empower local homeowners with all the knowledge they could possibly need when it comes to making their home-moving decisions, from finding out if their home’s estimated value has soared, to comparing it to similar homes for sale nearby."

The research was carried out amongst 54 homeowners in Reading by Opinium on behalf of Zoopla, from July 23 to 27.

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