18 September 2015

Is your local school affecting your home's value?

The UK’s most popular schools are having a powerful effect on the housing market across the country. UK-wide, homes near the best-performing secondary schools are around 25% more expensive than in other areas, according to Savills estate agent.

Because school catchment areas can be very small in some cases – the effect can be extremely localised. Neighbours in the same district but on different sides of a catchment boundary can see dramatically different prices for otherwise similar properties. Estate agent Knight Frank says that the average value of a property within 1 mile of one of the 50 best performing schools in the UK is 16% higher than average values in the local area.

Parents are homing in on the best state schools

The best-performing state schools have an especially powerful effect on house prices, according to a recent study from The Good Schools Guide and Savills estate agent. The authors of the study put this down to 2 factors. One is a climate of austerity, which nudges parents who might otherwise have paid for private school to opt for high-quality comprehensive education and the other factor was a perceived tendency for universities to favour candidates from state schools.

This is seen across the country: Holland Park School in London attracting parents willing to pay a house price premium of 79% compared to similar properties in the same postcode; Altrincham Girls Grammar School in Cheshire pushes up house prices in its catchment area by as much as 223%; houses in the catchment area of Tudor Grange school in Solihull, are 94% more expensive than similar homes in neighbouring areas.

Private schools keep local property prices high

Catchment area may play less of a role at private schools, but location is still important, especially when it comes to the school run, living close to friends and being able to attend extra-curricular sports and clubs.

Homes near Danes Hill School in Oxshott, Surrey are 281% more expensive than the county average, while properties that share a postcode with St George’s School in Edinburgh are 129% more expensive than the county average.

What about primary schools?

A study carried out at the London School of Economics showed that primary schools have a greater impact on house prices than secondary schools, because there’s more variation in primary school quality.

Savills and the Good Schools Guide say that living near a good state primary can increase house prices by 40%, with huge competition among parents to secure a home in the right spot before their children reach school age.

Other local area factors that could affect house prices

• New transport links: the Crossrail development in Central London, due to complete in 2019, is already pushing up prices along the route by up to 25%, according to This is Money.

• Being in a conservation area: properties within conservation areas sell at higher prices and gain more value, according to the London School of Economics. But it’s important to look out for planning restrictions and complications with repair and maintenance, as you may need the council’s permission to make changes to your home. 

• Distance to tube stops: Nationwide data shows that Londoners will pay a huge price premium to be near a tube station – prices within 500m of a tube stop are 10.5% higher than those 1,500m away.

Find out more

It's clear the amenities near your house can affect it's value just as much as the home improvements that you make. If there have been some changes in your local area recently, you may find your house has increased in value, giving you more equity in your property. If this is the case, you may be able to get a better mortgage rate.

See current mortgage deals from Nationwide.

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