£77,000: the extra cost of living near a good secondary school in England

An article in Relocate Magazine, 03/07/12, uncovers that the extra cost of living near a good secondary school in England costs more than average fees for an education in a HMC school.

Demand for property in the catchment areas of good schools shows no sign of decreasing according to analysis conducted by PrimeLocation.com in September 2011. The online estate agent has revealed that living near one of the 50 best secondary schools in the UK adds an extra £77,000 to the value of a home – £14,000 less than living near one of the nation's top primary schools.

As Re:locate readers are well aware, schooling and education are among the highest priorities for parents considering relocation. PrimeLocation data indicates that the cost of property in the catchment areas of some schools has peaked to such an extent that average families now face being priced out.

With 13 of England’s remaining 164 grammar schools, Buckinghamshire is one of the few counties that still supports the grammar system.

Some of the county’s schools achieve remarkable results. In the Financial Times best schools list for 2011, Wycombe Abbey came second. The Sunday Times top 500 schools table ranked Beaconsfield High at 42nd nationally, while the Royal Grammar School, in High Wycombe, achieved 43rd position.

A spokesman for Frosts Estate Agents, in Maidenhead, commented, "Our clients looking to buy property at the moment seem to fall into one of three categories: a local wanting to upsize, people from slightly out of area who used to live here and want to move back, and foreign investors.

"For those that have children, or who are planning for the long-term future, schooling is high on their list of things to consider when buying a house. We are very lucky in Buckinghamshire to have so many fabulous private and grammar schools in the area. The ones that are very popular at the moment are St Paul's, Wycombe High, and Beaconsfield High for Girls.

"Obviously, you no longer need to be on the right street to gain entry to a grammar school – it’s more that your children have to be academically high achievers – but no parent wants arduous commutes across the county to get the children to school."

Said Jonathan Cranley, sales and marketing director of Millgate Homes, which builds across Berkshire, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, “We are aware there are many factors that contribute to why people choose a home, but the old adage 'location, location, location' always stands firm.

“Our clients are discerning individuals that almost always are looking for a peaceful location, close to amenities and close to great schools. These, predominantly, are the driving forces for choosing a home – and I don't believe that budget alters this. Any family or couple thinking of a family home will have schools on their mind.”

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