Buying property near a top school? You’ll need an extra £26,000

Buying property near a top school? You’ll need an extra £26,000

New research has revealed the extent to which living near the country’s best state schools pushes up local house prices  – and investors and landlords can use their proximity to attract tenants.

On average, a property within the catchment area of one of the country’s 100 top state secondary schools carries a price tag around £26,860 above the local average – or a 42% premium, according to figures released by Santander Mortgages.

Every year, competition among parents to get their children into the best performing state schools is fierce, and many are prepared to up sticks and move house in order to get their offspring into the desired school, and the increased demand in such areas is the reason behind the extra cost of housing.

It even applies to primary schools – homes near one of the country’s top 1,000 state primaries cost an average of 8% more than your average property. And according to Santander’s statistics, almost a quarter (23%) of families are ending up significantly out of pocket, after buying property they feel they couldn’t really afford just to get their child a place at the local school.

Moving house out of necessity

One in five families said they had downsized in order to afford a home in their desired area near a school, while 16% of families had moved to an area they didn’t really like, and 8% even felt unsafe in their new area.

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

Attracting tenants near top schools

With a recent report showing that there may be a discrepancy between what landlords are offering and what tenants want, this information could be key for attracting the best tenant types in certain locations.

Landlords or investors who own property near any of the country’s best state schools would be advised to mention this asset in their listings, as it is one of the top amenities families look for when choosing a property. With Santander’s statistics proving the extent of the demand, renters will be looking for the same housing criteria as homebuyers in these areas, so it could be a real selling point for landlords.

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