Determined parents are pushing up prices in desirable locations by almost £27,000, according to the latest data on the extreme lengths families will go to in order to secure a place for children at their preferred school.
One in four parents with school age children have either bought or rented a new home to avail themselves of the right address for a particular catchment area and were willing to spend an extra 12 per cent on top of the market value of a home for the location – worth just under the average full-time salary of £28,200 before tax according to research from Santander Mortgages.
Half sold their previous home to move, a third bought a second home and a fifth are renting.
The financial burden is a huge one, with a quarter of parents admitting they are overstretched on their mortgage.
A fifth of those who moved for the sake of their children’s education have had to change jobs, a further fifth have had to downsize.
But this is a temporary move for many, and while a quarter of families will leave the area once their child leaves school, an astonishing four in 10 plan to move out as soon as their child has secured a place. In London, two thirds of parents will leave as soon as the paperwork comes through.
“A school with a good reputation can cause mayhem in a local property market,” says Jeremy Leaf, an estate agent in north London and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
“Buyers with children of school age will do and pay anything to get their children a place. It is quite normal for buyers to check the local Ofsted reports before they read the particulars for their preferred properties. The education effect on property prices can extend well beyond the school run boundaries.”