Everybody needs good neighbours

The First -Time Buyers survey also found that 39 per cent of borrowers said that location was the most important factor, with 14 per cent claiming that quiet neighbours were a deciding factor. 17 per cent looked at just one property before buying, but the majority (42 per cent) looked at between five and ten properties before making a decision.

Andy Gray, head of mortgage products at Woolwich, said: "First-time buyers are an increasingly savvy bunch. They are starting to research who they will live next to as much as the house they will live in.

"Neighbours can have a huge impact on quality of life and are as important to many homebuyers as the layout and feel of the house itself. Security – and being able to trust and count on your neighbours is also sought after – particularly by women who are buying on their own. But, we would advise everyone to take the time to meet the neigbours – it really could make all the difference."