The multifamily market has been hot for years, and not even the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed demand for apartment units. But all those people crammed into a single building? That neighbor who strums Smoke on the Water on his guitar all night long? The chihuahua that barks all day? That has to cause some stress, right?
It does, according to a new survey.
The survey released April 26 by LendingTree shows that, yes, neighbors don’t always get along. And the problem is worse among those living in multifamily properties.
In a survey of 1,537 people, LendingTree found that 73% of Americans dislike at least one of their neighbors. And 23% have called the police because of their neighbors.
Those living in apartments, members of Generation Z and those in the Northeastern part of the United States seem to have the most problems with their neighbors, with 79% of these respondents saying they disliked at least one neighbor. Those who don’t like neighbors point to three main reasons: They give off a “weird vibe,” they’re too loud or they’re rude.
Sometimes the dislike is serious. A total of 11% of respondents said they moved specifically because they didn’t like their neighbors. Another 27% said they thought about moving because of their neighbors.
“In today’s hot housing market where prices are high and inventory is limited, the unfortunate reality is that some people might not have any other choice but to live near someone they don’t like,” said Jacob Channel, senior economic analyst with LendingTree. “And while getting ‘bad vibes’ from a neighbor can certainly be annoying, dealing with them might be worth it if it means you have an affordable place to live.”
It’s not all grim out there, though. The LendingTree survey found that 74% of respondents said they are friends with at least one of their neighbors. But in a “Keeping up with the Joneses” situation, 17% reported that they feel financially pressured to keep up with their neighbors.
Nearly four in 10 responedents — 37% — told LendingTree that they would rather have neighbors whose political beliefs match their own. This is most important to Gen Zers, with 46% of these respondents saying that political beliefs matter. This is also a bigger factor for homeowners than renters, with 42% of homeowners saying they’d prefer living with neighbors whose political beliefs matched theirs while only 33% of renters said that this mattered.
What’s interesting here is that the hot housing and rental markets might make it more difficult for neighbors to avoid moving near people they don’t like.