If you have children, you probably considered the local schools when you were deciding where you would like to live. However, buying a home near enough to your preferred school to ensure your child gets a place there could end up costing you significantly more.
The extra cost of buying a home near a good school has just been calculated by Lloyds Bank in a study that looked at the top 30 state schools in the country. According to the research, a property near one of these schools costs on average £41,000 more than one in a neighbouring area. Simply being a little bit closer to one of these schools, and therefore more likely to get a place for your child, can have a significant impact on the price you have to pay for your home.
The effect was even more extreme for some of these top performing schools. The biggest difference was seen around the Beaconsfield High School in Buckinghamshire. Properties near the school cost an average of £636,132 more than those in surrounding areas. Although other factors may also be involved, the popularity of this school has attracted many people to the area, driving the prices up.
However, there were areas where top performing schools did not seem to be driving up property prices. For example, properties around the excellent Aylesbury High School, also in Buckinghamshire, actually cost 36% less than the average for the county. It may be that the competition for places at some schools is less than for others, or that there are areas where the type of housing limit the impact that a good school can have on house prices.
Even so, many parents are clearly willing to pay more in order to live near a good school. This could be good news if you are planning on selling property in one of these highly desirable areas, as you will probably receive plenty of interest and you may be able to ask more for your home. However, if you are looking to buy property near a popular school, it could mean that you are faced with greater competition and higher prices, even if you don’t have children.