Top of the class – good schools are a priority for parents choosing a new home

Posted 9 June 2016 by Helen Christie

Perhaps more surprisingly, having school nearby scored highly with children too...

Redrow Homes surveyed 509 parents and the same number of children aged 4-16 to find out their preferences when it comes to their home and neighbourhood.

When asked what was most important to them when choosing an area to live, 72% of parents placed a good local school among their top three, followed by 37% favouring somewhere with good transport links and 33% highlighting the importance of a ‘community feel’.

Being close to family members came fourth overall but, while this was a big priority for a third (33%) of mums, only a fifth (22%) of dads saw it as important.

When children were asked what’s most important to them about where they live, 60% said it was being near to their friends, followed by around half (49%) who liked to be close to school. Almost half (47%) valued having lots of parks and green space nearby, ahead of 17% who thought being near facilities such as a cinema was vital.

The survey was carried out by independent market research company Censuswide for national housebuilder Redrow Homes to find out what parents and children think makes ‘a better way to live’.

Living in the catchment area for a good school however, comes with a price, according to research by online estate agents, Families are needing to pay a premium of almost £44,000 to buy a property near primary schools judged as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors. looked at average property prices in catchment areas for 50 state-funded primary schools across England that received the highest rating by Ofsted in its latest report. These prices were then compared with average house prices for the whole postcode to see what premium families might have to pay to buy a property close to a top performing school.

The research revealed that average property prices in streets that are close to – and in the catchment area – of a primary school rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, are almost a fifth (18%) higher than average property prices for the area postcode. That means the price of the best ‘free’ schooling commands an average premium of £43,773 if you want to buy a property in the locality of a top primary school.

Of the primary schools commanding the biggest premiums to live near to, more than half are in the south of England. The schools adding the biggest premium to local property prices are St Luke’s Primary School in Brighton and Hove and Crowland Primary School in Haringey, adding 45% (£151,121) and 44% (£193,816) respectively.

But according to HouseSimple figures, there are some areas offering better value to live close to ‘outstanding’ schools. Properties surrounding The Mayflower Primary School in Essex, Henry Cavendish Primary School in Lambeth and Highfields Primary School in Leicester have recently sold without buyers having to pay a hefty premium.


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