By Paula Planelles Manzanaro
Parents are willing to pay up to £300,000 for a home near the country’s top schools, according to a survey published by the property website PrimeLocation.com. They have even a bigger premium in leading primary than in secondary schools. This means that properties close to England’s top primary schools are nearly £92,000 on average more expensive than other homes in surrounding areas.
Homes near England’s top primary schools have an average price of £309,732, compared with the typical price of £218,114. This means that parents need a premium £91,618, paying a 42 per cent higher if they lived further. This is the result of the latest study about property published by PrimeLocation.com, which asked prices in the areas surrounding the top 100 state primary schools in the country.
Landlords also charge 9 per cent higher rents to those parents who want to move in the area while seeking a place, according to the survey.
According to the ranking of England’s 10 top primary schools, St. Joseph’s RC Roman Catholic in Hurst Green, near Clitheroe, Lancanshire, is the centre with the biggest difference with the regional average (251pc). A home nearby costs £572,42 on average, two-and-a-half times the average for the area.
From the National Association of Head Teachers, its leader Rusell Hobby, confirmed that some families deliberately moved into catchment areas during the period they were seeking a place, which means an obstacle for the families who cannot afford high rents. “You improve a school with a disadvantaged intake and suddenly everybody wants to move into the area. The middle classes force the prices up and before you know it the poorer families are priced out”, he said.
Mr. Hobby urged the need to let children on free school meals attend any school their parents want in order to make up for the drift.
By regions, the biggest difference in price is in the East Midlands, with asking prices of £82,000. This means a 48 per cent higher than the regional average of £171,135, the survey unveils. The second one is Yorkshire and Humberside. There, properties close to a leading primary school cost £232,518 on average, 47.4 per cent higher than the £157,718 for the area.
However, London had the lowest primary school premium, with 7.4 per cent of difference. Nigel Lewis, a property analyst at PrimeLocation.com, said that the low primary school in the capital could be explained by external influences. “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”, Mr. Lewis said.
The difference between home prices close to the top secondary schools and homes which are further is lower than in the case of the primary education. An earlier survey in September 2011 unveiled that living near one of the 50 best secondary schools cost an extra £77,000, £14,000 less in the case of primary centres.