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Why parents pay more to be near a top school
2:50pm Thursday 12th April 2012
Parents looking to secure a place for their child at one of the nation’s top primary state schools are willing to pay on average 42 per cent more to live close by, according to new analysis from prime property website PrimeLocation.
The study, which looked at asking prices in the vicinity of the top 100 state primary schools across England, compiled from a Department for Education league table, reveals how homes in these areas command an average price of £309,732 that’s £91,618 (42 per cent) higher than the UK average of £218,114.
PrimeLocation’s analysis also reveals that rental prices in these areas are nine per cent higher than the national average, with landlords benefiting from parents keen to rent a property within their desired catchment area without having to relocate completely.
Asking prices in areas close to top ranked primary schools in London, where property costs more than the UK average, attracted the smallest premiums, with prices 7.4 per cent higher.
To see a list of the top 30 primary schools ranked by the difference between local asking prices and the regional average, please see: www.primelocation.com/ articles/primary-schools-list Nigel Lewis, property analyst at PrimeLocation, said: “It’s no surprise that parents are investing considerable amounts of money choosing a home that gives their child access to the best school possible.
“This demand has led to higher than average asking prices for homes in the most sought-after neighbourhoods, pricing many parents out of the area altogether.
“While asking prices in the capital are on average higher than the rest of the UK, it has the lowest primary school premium in the country.
“This could be because external influences on house prices here are much stronger and high population density means there’s more competition for homes in London, even without the lure of living near a top primary school.”
The research also found that living near a top primary school adds more to the value of a property than living near one of the UK’s top-performing secondary schools.
Analysis conducted by PrimeLocation revealed that living near one of the 50 best secondary schools in the UK adds an extra £77,000 to the value of a home – £14,000 less than living near one of the nation’s top primary schools.
Nigel Lewis concluded: “The primary school a child goes to can have a significant impact on their subsequent education and with competition for places in the UK’s top secondary schools becoming more intense, parents are going to greater lengths to ensure that their child is not left behind. This has led to greater demand for homes close to the country’s top primary schools.”
Wendy Evans-Scott, president of the National Association of Estate Agents and branch manager at Hamptons International in Epsom, said: “In my experience, the two most important considerations in moving home are proximity to schools and transport. I agree with Nigel Lewis, on both a professional level and as a parent myself, that it is of paramount importance to give your child the best possible start in their education as this shapes the rest of their life.
“Also, many children need to pass entrance exams to gain entry to their chosen junior and secondary schools.
“One of the main factors attracting families to Epsom are the superb schools, and as catchment areas are reducing annually, the demand and competition for family homes as close as possible to a good school is steadily increasing, which has a significant impact on prices.