A new study has shown that some parents are willing to pay £53,000 more than the average property price to live near a top performing school, an increase of 31% in just one year. The study, carried out by Lloyds Bank, confirms just how important parents believe a good school is when considering where to buy a new home. By paying a premium of £53,426 it means buyers are paying £366,744 to live in a county near one of the 30 highest performing state schools in England; the average price of homes in surrounding counties is £313,318. Three out of the top five and six out of the top 10 schools in the list were for girls.

The school that attracted the highest premium was Beaconsfield High School in Buckinghamshire. The average price of homes near to Beaconsfield High School was £996,212, 171% or £629,021 more than what you would expect to pay in a neighbouring county.

The second highest premium was commanded by The Henrietta Barnett School, which had house prices 74% higher than the average in Barnet, meaning a house costs £429,056 more than neighbouring areas. Third place in the premium league table went to Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Buckinghamshire, which had a premium of £220,082. Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston upon Thames was next on the list with its premium of £192,011. Dr Challoner’s High School in Buckinghamshire was in fifth place with a premium of £168,308. In six of the 30 top state schools’ postal districts, a premium of over £150,000 was required compared to neighbouring postal districts.

The plus side for buyers wanting to buy a home in these areas, is that once they do acquire a house with a postcode such as HP9 (for Beaconsfield High School) and ensure their children live in the catchment area of a top-rated state school, they can almost certainly look forward to the property price continuing to rise at a significantly faster rate than in places nearby.

Overall, between 2011 and 2016, the average house price in England rose 18% so that a home now costs £282,145. Yet, for a home in the catchment area of a top school, the property price has risen from £290,683 to £366,744 in the same time period, an increase of 26%.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director says that the sharp increase in house prices close to top schools proves just how much top performing schools are an attraction for homebuyers. He says: “Our study shows that in seven of the areas covered, we have seen house prices increase by over £100,000 in the last five years.”

However, he adds a note of caution: “It could mean that homes stay unaffordable for homebuyers on average earnings because the popularity of catchment areas of high performing schools is continuing to grow fast.”

In specific postal districts, not just counties, the average price was found to be significantly higher for the best schools. For example, the average price for NW11, which is home to The Henrietta Barnett School, has risen £234,386 over the past five years. Now, the value of a home there is £1,011,016, the highest price of any home in the study.

The next highest increase was £232,953 in KT2, which is the postcode for Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston upon Thames, while HP9, the postcode for Beaconsfield High School, saw an increase of £228,829.

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