Mon 12 Sep 2016 View all news articles

A quarter of parents have moved house to be in their desired school catchment area

More than one in four parents have bought or rented a property in a new area to help secure a school place for their child, new research has revealed.

According to Santander Mortgages, 26% of parents with children of school age have either bought or rented a new property to get their children into their desired school catchment area.

London has the highest proportion of parents moving to secure an address within a specific catchment area at 46%, while the East Midlands has the lowest at 11%.

In order to move to their desired catchment area, parents are prepared to spend a premium of 11% – an average of £23,700.

This is just under the average full-time salary in the UK, which currently stands at £27,600. On a regional basis, those living in London are willing to pay the highest premium (15%) – equating to £71,539.

Parents are so keen to secure a place in sought-after catchment areas that many are even willing to change jobs (17%) or downsize (20%).

A further 22% admitted they overstretched themselves, paying more for the property than they could realistically afford and 21% moved to a location that was far away from family or friends.

The study suggests that the moves made by many of these families are temporary, with only 29% planning to continue living in the area. More than a quarter (27%) of those who moved to be within a particular catchment area said they had, or would, move out straight away once their child had secured a place.

Amongst families who have moved to be within their desired catchment area, almost half (49%) said they had sold their previous property and purchased a new one within their chosen area. A quarter (25%) said they purchased a second home in the catchment area, while just over a quarter (26%) secured their desired address by renting a property.

Miguel Sard, managing director of mortgages at Santander UK, said: “School catchment areas remain a key discussion point for many parents. Our research shows that with competition for school places remaining high, parents are making significant financial and lifestyle sacrifices to be within the catchment area of desirable schools. Living within a certain school catchment area is a priority for many families but these premium addresses can come with a hefty price tag.”

“For those wanting to buy a new home, affordability is key so it’s important to look at incomings and outgoings carefully. Unfortunately this is likely to be harder to achieve for those wanting to buy in a specific school catchment area.”

Source: What Mortgage

If schools are a big factor for your home move, make sure you check out our location guides.

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