Parents willing to spend 12% extra to live in school catchment area

Parents are rejoicing as schools finally reopen after the long summer holidays, but research reveals how much extra families are willing to pay for a property to secure a place for their child.

A survey by Santander Mortgages, based on questions answered by more than 4,000 parents with children of school age, showed 24% had purchased or rented a property to secure an address within a particular school catchment area.

The poll of 4,014 parents found those with children of school age are willing to spend on average 12% more on a property to live in a desired catchment area.

This equates to £26,800 extra, based on average Land Registry prices of £223,257, so they have a better chance of getting their child into a school of their choice.

Among families who have moved to be within their desired catchment area, 51% said they had sold their previous property and purchased a new one within their chosen area.

Another 30% said they purchased a second home in the catchment area, while 19% secured their desired address by renting a property.

A fifth of those who moved changed jobs, while 20% said they were forced to downsize and 19% moved to an area where they did not feel safe.

One in four admit they overstretched themselves, paying more for the property than they could realistically afford and 26% moved to a location that was far away from family or friends.

Miguel Sard, managing director of mortgages for Santander UK, said: “Living within a certain school catchment area is top of the wish list for many families but often these addresses come at a premium.

“Our study highlights the significant financial and lifestyle sacrifices that parents are making to be within the catchment area of a desired school.”

How does your region fare?

RegionPercentage of parents who have bought or rentedAverage premium buyers have paid or are prepared to pay additional percentage on original property price*Average property price for that regionAverage school catchment premium for this region*
North East37%14%£130,065£18,200
North West17%13%£156,392£20,300
Yorks & Humber33%10%£157,762£15,800
East Midlands28%12%£182,166£21,800
West Midlands29%11%£185,082£20,300
East of England12%10%£286,623£28,700
London33%17%£481,556£81,800
South East21%9%£320,168£28,800
South West18%10%£246,159£24,600
Wales15%8%£151,672£12,100
Scotland21%12%£144,253£17,300
N. Ireland29%5%£128,650**£6,400
UK24%12%£223,257£26,800

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Written by: Houseladder