Are you a curtain twitcher? It turns out we are OBSESSED with what our neighbours pay

Two in five of us look up the prices of homes owned by friends, family and even ex-lovers

girl looking out of window
(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

Are you a nosey neighbour? Do you spend your spare time perusing property websites? Well, you are certainly not alone.

More than 38 per cent of Britons have checked the price of someone else's home online in the past year - including the properties of neighbours, family, friends and colleagues, according to Direct Line.

bedroom with yellow curtain

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

The research also claimed that 10 per cent of people looked online at the home of their colleagues, while 10 per cent snooped on their potential new partners, and with a further 9 per cent prying on ex-lovers.

The study, by Direct Line, uncovered that 2.6 million self-confessed ‘property addicts,' browsing online property sites at least once a day to keep a check on prices, design trends and daydream about their future home.

They survey also suggested that 63 per cent of Britons admit to window shopping online for home that they have no intention of buying.

‘We are a nation of property obsessives with very good reason. Our homes are our castles and becoming a homeowner or even climbing the ladder in the UK is a huge challenge and aspiration for many,'
says Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line Home Insurance.

Other reasons people used property websites include checking on local property prices, assessing future potential areas in which to live and fantasising about homes they simply can't afford.

Do you jump straight on your computer as soon as a for sale sign appears on your street? Confess all your property porn sins here!

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.