Would you pay �53k extra to buy a house close to a good school?

  | James Innes

Average house prices in the catchment areas surrounding the top state schools in English have rocketed to £366,744 compared to an average of £313,318 in other areas in the last year. Recent research conducted by Lloyds Bank reveals that many parents are paying out an average of £53,000 extra, and some as much as hundreds of thousands of pounds more, just to secure a property near to one of England's top 30 state schools.

When a house comes on the market in a prized catchment area, which is very rarely, there is huge competition and sometimes a bidding war, resulting in some properties selling for considerably over the guide price. Some people have even resorted to renting a temporary property in the right area so that they can get their child's name down at a good school ... but they don't even bother moving in! You have to be careful though because some Local Education Authorities have been known to remove children from the school if they learn of this, arguably, underhanded way of securing a school place. 

Parents whose children are reaching secondary school age will have been eagerly looking out for the GCSE results earlier this year and using this to determine where they need to move to in order to ensure their children get the best education. But inevitably there will be some families who simply cannot afford to move to the right area - they are being priced out of the market by those families who can. Some people will argue that you can't put a price on your child's future /  happiness / education. But all that does is make those people who really can't afford to move feel even worse! 

Another thing to consider is that these top-performing schools will no doubt be heavily oversubscribed. You may move to the right area but still not guarantee your child a place.

So is it really worth it? Well it may be. But it is worth remembering that some of the best talents in our country today did not get a great education [link to Andy's other blog post......], even those who did manage to go to a top-performing school. So if you can't afford to move to the "right" area, your children can still be hugely successful with the support of their teachers and their families. 

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