So said Benjamin Franklin, scientist, author, statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He probably wasn`t referring to the increase in house prices the closer you live to the best schools, but the facts prove this is indeed the case. The Department of Education`s figures show that house prices near the best-performing primary schools are 8% higher than in the surrounding areas, and are 6.7% higher for the best-performing non-selective secondary schools. Including fee-paying and private schools in the equation and price differences are greater still.
According to The Times newspaper buyers can be willing to pay up to 20% more to be within 20 minutes of a good school, when compared similar properties further away. And research by estate agent Knight Frank shows that property rose by 49% over five years close to Magdalen College School in Oxford, the top-ranked school in England and Wales. The biggest increase was for property near to St Saviour`s and St Olave`s Grammar in Orpington, Kent, another of the top-20 performing schools in the study, which showed a 57% increase in value over the five year period. Rupert Sweeting of Knight Frank says: “Being near a good school is still one of the most important criteria for our buyers, and is often the sole reason for a move”.
Furthermore, a study by Hamptons Estate Agents suggests that improvements in a school`s Ofsted rating can add 5.5% to property values over a five year period when compared with houses 5km away. The research also showed that the rating effect worked the other way too, with properties decreasing by 2.4% in value following a drop in a school`s rating.
This differential in house prices should not be attributed solely to the proximity of good schools. Many top-performing schools are located in affluent areas with good local facilities and transport links, which in themselves will attract better-off buyers. And wealthier buyers may be more willing to pay a premium for the right property. However, the fact remains that for many families being close to good schools can be a major factor in their decision to live in a particular area.
The Department of Education`s Research Paper published in March of this year concludes the report by saying: “The evidence suggests that well-off parents are more likely to use the option of moving to an area with good schools or into the catchment area of a specific school than are less well-off parents…..Parents, especially those with higher earnings, are more likely to move into an area with a good school….and spend more to be near good schools.”
Being lucky enough to live close to a top-performing school pays dividends in two ways. Firstly, in the education opportunities it offers to pupils, and secondly in the increased value of your property when the time comes to sell up and move on.
If you are thinking of buying or selling your home please do get in touch with our conveyancing and property team for a fixed fee conveyancing quote.
To read The Times article go to: How to make your relocation sums add up
To read the Department of Education report in full go to: House prices and schools