Education, education, education – the platform upon which Tony Blair was elected as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1996. Education is and always will be a top priority for parents throughout the UK, as is evident by the rising value of homes in areas with close proximity to top-performing UK schools. Let's take a closer look at how school location affects property prices.
The price of admission
According to PropertyWire, close proximity to any of the top 50 schools in the UK is enough to bump up a property's average value by at least 16.6%. It's not only buyers, but also renters who are willing to pay premium rates for convenient access to any of these illustrious educational institutions, with rent increasing by an average of 7.8 per cent for properties located in their vicinity.
The price difference is especially large in areas outside London, where public transport is not as readily available. The East Midlands, for example, experienced a 30.9% increase in property prices for areas close to top-rated schools, compared to the 4.9% increase in London. Of course, that 4.9% increase is felt all the harder due to the already high house prices in the capital.
The list of top-performing schools includes the likes of Sevenoaks School – so highly sought after that sale prices in the surrounding area were 221% higher in 2014, according to an analysis from real estate firm Knight Frank. Since Sevenoaks is an internationally recognised school, properties in the area attract interest from buyers outside the UK as well; and the same goes for many of the other schools included in the top 50.
It's not just the issue of transport that places these properties in such high demand. Being close to one of the top 50 schools also increases your child's chances of being admitted to the school in question. The Ministry of Education (MOE) website states that students are “eligible for the early phases of admission if they have siblings in the school of choice, parents who are alumni or whose families have special relationships with the school”. However, if the number of applications exceeds the number of vacancies, then applications are prioritised according to the proximity of the student's residence to the school.
The price of admission to one of the UK's top state schools is expensive indeed, especially when you take into account the cost of buying a property that will increase the likelihood of being admitted.
Investing in education
However expensive it may be for home buyers, it's still a bargain compared to what it would cost to keep their children enrolled in private schools – fees which can reach as high as £30,000 a year, according to the Daily Mail. Furthermore, as high as house prices may be, for buyers these houses represent a valuable investment, not just in terms of property but also in potential benefits to their children’s education.