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Parents Paying £41,000 Premium to Live Near Top State Schools

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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.

Second Time Buyers Need an Extra £60,000

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Discussions of the difficulties of buying a home tend to focus mainly on first time buyers who are trying to get onto the property ladder, but a recent report from Lloyds Bank suggests that making a second move can also be very hard.

Rising house prices have made it more difficult for homeowners to afford to move into a new property, particularly as many of those who would like to move are looking for larger homes to house an expanding family. Although the values of the properties that the homeowner hopes to buy and sell may have been increasing at about the same rate, the gap between them has also been widening.

The difference between the value of potential second-time buyers’ current homes and the types of properties that they would like to move into has grown substantially over the last few years. It has risen by an average of about £18,000 since 2012. Homeowners who are planning to move into their second property will now need to find an extra £58,400 on average, above what they will make on selling their existing home. To put this number in perspective, it is about double the average deposit paid by a first-time buyer.

The growing financial burden of taking the second step up the property ladder has made it more difficult for homeowners to move on. According to Lloyds, more than half of those currently living in their first home said that they had wanted to trade up during the last year, but had been unable to do it. This isn’t just a problem for those struggling to find their second home, or for sellers who are marketing properties suited to second-time buyers. All of these people who are stuck living in their first home while wanting to move on are also reducing the number of properties available for first time buyers.

However, despite the difficulties, the report also showed that prospective second-time buyers were feeling more confident about their chances of moving on. The 35% who believed that economic uncertainty would make it difficult for them to buy in 2013 has now dropped to 25%, while the number who are worried about finding the deposit for a second home has dropped from 50% to 37%.

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