Parents pay £483,000 more to live near top school
Average property prices in the postal districts of the top 30 state schools in England – defined as those secondary schools that achieved the best GCSE results1 in 2013 – have now reached £268,098. This is on average £20,955 (8%) higher than their county averages (£247,143).
Five of the 30 top state schools are in locations that command a house price premium of over £115,000 compared to their surrounding locations.
Homes in the postal district of the Beaconsfield High School in Buckinghamshire have the largest premium with homes trading at £483,031 (154%) above the average house price in neighbouring areas. Homes within the postal district of Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Buckinghamshire command the second highest premium with house prices in the postal district of SL7 at a premium of £184,058 (59%) to the average for the county.
However, half of England’s top 30 state schools are in locations where the average property price is below the average of those in neighbouring areas. With an average price of £134,261, properties in the postal district of Devonport High School for Girls in Devon (PL2) are 38% (or £83,375) below the county average.
In cash terms, the largest discount can be found in the area close to Reading School where the average house price in RG1 of £212,994 is £107,979 lower than the Berkshire county average.
Those on average earnings are finding it difficult to purchase a property close to many of the best state schools.
The average house price of £268,098 in the postal districts of the 30 best performing state schools is almost eight (7.6) times average gross annual earnings (£35,157) compared to the 7.4 average across England.
Homes within the postal district of the Beaconsfield High School – the most expensive in this survey – are the least affordable with the typical property price of £796,909 in this part of Buckinghamshire are just over 18 times (18.2) gross average annual earnings in the area. Houses in the postal district of the Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, also in Buckinghamshire, are the second least affordable (11.4).
In contrast, properties in the postal district of the Heckmondwike Grammar School in Kirklees – the least expensive in this survey at £99,063 – are the most affordable with a house to price ratio of 3.2.
The postal districts of the top performing secondary state2 schools in six of the nine English regions command a house price premium compared to their county average.
The South East has the largest premium with average house prices in the postal districts of the top ten state schools in the region trading 27% (£72,314) above the average house price in their county. This is followed by East Anglia (premium of 25%) and the North West (24%).
In contrast, homes in the East Midlands and the South West that are close to the best performing state schools are, on average, 3% lower than in neighbouring locations. Average property prices are also below those of surrounding areas in Greater London (-1%).
Marc Page, Lloyds Bank mortgages director said: “House prices close to the nation’s top performing state schools appear to be commanding a significant premium over properties in surrounding areas.
“There is strong competition for properties in areas where state schools are providing top quality education, often in locations with limited supply, which is supporting prices.
“Although property values can be significantly lower in neighbouring areas, many parents don’t appear to be put off from paying a premium to ensure their child has the best possible chance to attend their chosen school.”