The relationship between ‘high-performing’ good schools and home prices
Good schools and the British education system are always making the headlines these days. The struggle to improve education standards means every school is striving to make improvements, and that is having a direct impact on local house prices. Parents are now more aware than ever before of the various merits of different state schools, and they are prepared to pay a premium to get their children into the best performing schools in the area.
In many cases, the decision on a child’s school place comes down to which side of a street people live. And according to the property website Zoopla.co.uk, the properties located within the catchment area of the country’s top 100 schools are worth up to 25 percent more than average house values in their respective sectors. Indeed, Zoopla report that living in the south east of England, near to a top school, can double the price of property.
Are house prices near good schools recession-proof?
It also seems that homes close to high-performing schools are recession proof and benefit from higher property prices. According to Zoopla.co.uk, the desire to have their children attend the best schools is often a factor that overrides parents’ other concerns. Unfortunately, this has led to a situation where the poorest children left with no other choice than to attend the worst schools. And because school performances link to budgets, the problem may become worse.
Such is the growing importance of school performance on local house prices; estate agents have up-to-date information on catchment areas and OFSTED reports. The awareness of just how important local schools are to buyers with families is continuing to drive house prices upwards, and that is leading to mini property bubbles in some regions of the UK. Parents who can’t afford the luxury of a private education are looking for houses near good schools as a cost-effective way of ensuring their children get the best education possible.
Property values may change if a school’s circumstances change
It is important for homeowners to remember, however, that events beyond their control can very quickly change the status quo. Changes to admission rules, school closures and falls in standards can have a direct and immediate impact on local property prices. It is, therefore, important for homeowners to monitor the performance of local schools – whether those people are parents or not. It is also the case that school catchment areas are always changing to account for demographic changes and the emergence of new residential developments. A property that may have once been in the catchment area of a top school could, overnight, be in the catchment area of one of the worst.
Despite the obvious advantages of living next to a high-performing school, some mitigating factors can temper property valuations somewhat. People without children may not want to live in areas that suffer from parking problems, and heavy traffic during the school runs. There is a very real possibility that the extra noise and disruption from schools can scare some buyers off. It is also important for purchasers to remember that a good school is only one factor of several to consider when buying property. Homeowners near good schools can usually sell their homes quickly as demand is invariably high. Many buyers will place offers on houses in areas of high demand without performing a complete survey first, and that can lead to future costs that far outstrip the benefit of being close to a good school.
Regardless of the underlying market conditions, it seems that there will always be a demand for homes in areas with good schools. As long as the catchment system adopted for school admissions, parents will be prepared to pay over the odds for homes in certain neighbourhoods. However, when buying or selling a property, it is important to remember all of the determining factors relating to property prices before making such an important decision.