Parents pay the price for school catchment areas

Written by Sam Jones on 17 September 2012.

Parents pay almost £34,000 extra to buy a home close to the country's top performing state schools according to new research by one of the UK’s largest mortgage lenders, Lloyds TSB.

House prices in the postal districts of the top 30 state schools in England - defined as those secondary schools that achieved the best GCSE results in 2011 - were on average £33,631 (12%) higher than the neighbouring locations in their country. This is almost three times the average annual private school fee of £11,422. Overall, the typical price of a home in the postal districts of England's best state schools is £303,902. This is almost a third higher (29% or £67,581) than the average house price across England of £236,321.

Suren Thiru, housing economist, Lloyds TSB, said: "In general, homes close to the nation's top performing state schools command a significant premium over neighbouring areas. The presence of a good school appears to help support property values in many of these locations as parents compete with other buyers and investors to land the property that gives their child the best possible chance to attend their chosen school.

The downside of high property values in many of these areas is that it can create a financial barrier to attending the best non-fee paying schools, with many lower and middle income families finding it very difficult to purchase a home in these locations."

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