What comes first – the house or the school?

The house or the school

A recent survey carried out by Quick Move Now has determined that 60 per cent of parents would pay a premium to live in their preferred catchment area. What’s more important to you? The House or the school?

The research, carried out via online survey, showed that nearly six per cent of respondents would pay a premium of 20 per cent or more of the asking price in order to ensure their children attended their school of choice.

It was also determined that 30 per cent of parents said they had moved house or changed address in order to obtain their preferred school place for their child, and that 48 per cent said they would consider doing so within the next two years. According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of pupils attending state schools in England is projected to rise to 8 million by 2024.

Quick Move Now Managing Director Danny Luke believes that this rise in the student body is contributing to fierce competition when it comes to home-buying in desirable catchment areas.

The survey results indicate that parents are clearly prepared to make large financial sacrifices to ensure their children attend their school of choice, including paying a substantial premium for a house in their desired area,” he says. “It is also a clear indicator of how highly good schools rank on a buyer’s wish-list, and so for homeowners or indeed landlords looking for a buy-to-let investment, examining the Ofsted performance of schools in the area is essential.

When asked about other sacrifices they would be prepared to make in order to guarantee their children a good school place, respondents said they would work longer hours (56 per cent), move away from family (22 per cent), and leave their dream home (16 per cent).

Megan Ashley, 33, was one such parent who made the move based on school placements.

We bought our current home four years ago, just before our son started primary school. The main focus of our search was to find a house within the catchment of any of the several Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ schools within the area. We chose our current property as it was also within the catchment area of the secondary school we feel will suit our son best and would ultimately like him to attend.

However, while Meg, her husband and now eight-year-old son may have already made one move successfully, the amount of ongoing development in the local area means guaranteed entrance to this secondary school will require yet another move.

Due to the amount of new homes that have since been built in the area, our postcode no longer falls within the catchment of our preferred secondary school. As a result, we are now in the position where we are considering moving in order to ensure our son will still be able to attend that school. We have not outgrown our house and have no other reason to move, but I am almost certain we will move again within the next two years. To purchase a like-for-like property we will need to pay in the region of £100,000, which equates to about 30 per cent more based on current prices.

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