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Living in hope is a good idea

Having a happy-sounding street name may add thousands to your home’s value

Do you live in hope? Or, to be more accurate, do you live in a street/road/close/avenue with a name synonymous with happiness? If the answer is “yes”, you may, perhaps unwittingly, have done yourself a financial favour.

Research has revealed that happy-sounding street names can add value to your homes. We are talking thousands, not hundreds. On average, a UK house value is close to £25,000 higher in streets with happy names. The most popular happy name used in addresses is Hope. There are 216 street names in the UK containing Hope. Next most popular is Summer (127), Sunny (126) and Love (123). London has its fair share and at the end of the article I will list just a few picked at random.

Over the years we have all had the location, location, location mantra drummed into us when house-hunting. But, perhaps we should be considering happy, happy, happy. When looking for a house, the reality is that most of us don’t pay much attention to the road name; in fact, the survey conducted by Bankrate.com/uk indicates that 92% of Brits say they aren’t concerned with the street name of their next potential home.

Overall, there are more happy street names in the north-west than any other region in the UK. Chipper (popular in Wiltshire) is the most valuable street name – adding more than £56,000 to your home on average. Not a misprint. Next is pretty, which boosts your home’s value by £44,918 on average and is most popular in the east of England!

Other names that can increase your property’s value and the area they are most frequently found in are as follows: Gay: £40,293 (south–west); Pleasure: £39,029 (south-east); Dancers: £32,029 (east of England); Beam: £30,623 (north-west and north-east); Heaven: £29,273 (London); Merry: £27,619 (east and west Midlands).

So, does that make you want to change the name of your street? It may be possible Florence Codjoe, personal finance expert at Bankrate, has provided some comments on the reason why happiness may increase value and gives some pointers to how you can change your street name.

She says: “Largely due to the widespread disruption caused by Covid-19, the property market is in a turbulent state. Despite uncertainty, there is positive news – those living on a street with a happy name have something to smile about in these tough times.

“Road names, which include positive words such as hope and love really do boost the value of properties within that respective street. Although some happy words have more of a favourable effect on price than others, an attractive and positive road name only adds to the desirability of a property.

“After analysing the findings, Bankrate researched government guidelines and can provide tips on how residents can change their street name, potentially adding thousands to their home’s value!

“Different cities and counties across the country have a number of rules as to how to go about a street name change, so make sure to check with your local council to find the exact procedure The council will consider requests from residents, but there must be a good reason; if you do believe you have one, this is the perfect opportunity to up the value of your street! A handful of council guidelines state that one good reason includes a group of residents being unhappy with the street name. This is most likely the option you will go for if you’re opting for a ‘happy’ street name change!

“It is a very time-consuming process so it can be difficult to get approved, as it isn’t just the council’s decision. Royal Mail is asked for its position and whether it agrees it is necessary. You must also ensure you obtain permission from the majority of residents on your street, so gathering enough signatures is essential. You can start by building a good case and having a solid street name that is sure to get your neighbours on board. Something like, Love Lane or Hope Avenue, might fare well among the residents. If the neighbours and council agree then you are on the way to a successful street name change!”

London’s happy streets include: Jolly Mews in SW16; Cheering Lane E15; Smiles Place SE13; Bright Street E14; Friendly Place SE10; Hope Close SE12; Love Lane EC2; Pretty Lane CR5; Sunny Bank SE25; Summer Hill BR7.

For more details see here.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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