School catchment areas more important than ever for homebuyers

The Santander study reveals that people planning a move would be willing to pay an extra £5663 on average to be able to move into a good catchment area. Of those who plan to buy a new home in the next five years, 15% say school catchment areas is one of their main priorities with many homebuyers willing to pay a much higher premium.

While one in four (26%) of those with a child aged 11 to 17 see it as a major concern, and would be willing to pay a £11,564 premium for the privilege.

And the results differ across regions where places for schools can be more competitive.

In the South East of England, for example, people would be willing to pay an extra £10,961 for a home in the catchment area of a good educational establishment. Homebuyers in the West Midlands are most concerned about moving into a good catchment area, with one in four of them (26%) citing it as a main priority, double the percentage that was concerned about this the last time they bought a home (13%).

In the North East only 6% of buyers showed a particular interest in the catchment area the last time they purchased a home, but some 16% of people planning to buy a property in the region now consider it a main priority.

The research suggests that women are much more concerned about moving into a good catchment area than men and are willing to pay a £7281 premium in comparison to £4456 for men.

Phil Cliff, Director of Santander Mortgages, said: "People are increasingly concerned about the value of a good education, and in some areas of the country, there is a significant amount of competition for places at sought-after schools. This has led to many parents trying to move to a particular area deliberately to improve their child’s chances of getting into their desired school.

"Some in-demand property features such as being located within the catchment area of a good school can increase the property value considerably, so it is important that prospective buyers get the best mortgage product for them in the long term so we would encourage them to speak with one of our mortgage experts in branch or over the phone."

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