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House price premium for those who live near England’s top state schools

Living in the catchment area of one of England’s top 100 state secondary schools carries a 42% house price premium compared to the surrounding area. That’s according to new research from Santander Mortgages.

It found it wasn’t just homes near high-performing secondary schools that command a house price premium, properties close to one of England’s top 1,000 state primary schools also carry with them an 8% uplift in house prices.

Parents throughout the whole of the UK are willing to pay a premium to secure a place for their child in their desired school. In fact, parents with school age children who have moved or are willing to move to live in their preferred catchment area are ready to pay £26,860 more than the average UK property price in a bid to land a space at a top school.

Meanwhile, 23% of parents have paid considerably more for a property than they felt they could afford thanks to the cost of securing a property in the right catchment area. Some 30% of parents with children aged 4-18, on the other hand, are considering moving in the next two years to ensure they are in their preferred school catchment area.

Nearly a quarter of parents, though, have or would consider purchasing a less expensive property to send their children to private school. 

To ensure they were in the ‘right’ school catchment area, parents have had to make sacrifices, with 20% downsizing their home, while 24% have taken on extra hours at work. Additionally, 25% of parents saw their commuting costs rise, while 17% said it had made their journey to work more difficult.

Some 16% of families moved to an area they didn’t like, while 8% felt unsafe in their new area. Parents eager to move are willing to pay a higher premium for a school catchment area than almost any other amenity, as they would only pay an 11% premium to live in an area of low crime or 10% for good transport links. 

London, unsurprisingly, commands the largest catchment area premium - standing at £70,675 – with parents willing to move prepared to pay 15% more to live in the vicinity of their first-choice school, more than anywhere else in the UK. In second place was the South East, where parents are prepared to pay an extra £40,294 to live in the catchment area of their preferred school. 

“Living in the vicinity of a top ranked school carries a significant house price premium,” Miguel Sard, managing director of Mortgages at Santander UK, said.

“If families are looking to move into a catchment area specifically to boost their chances of getting into an elite school, they can expect to pay a hefty price. It is important when considering purchasing a property that people understand the true costs as the house price is just one of many. Stamp duty, solicitors’ fees and moving costs mount up.”

He added: “Parents are prepared to sacrifice a lot to give their child the best start in life and given these costs, it is important to find a mortgage lender that offers the best rate for you to ensure repayments are manageable, and the buying process is made as smooth as possible.”

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