How much would you pay to live near a top school?

As term restarts for kids across the UK, many parents will also be going back to the job of house-hunting. But how much would they pay to live near higher quality education?

Schools are something that have always been on the housing checklist for buyers, alongside nearby supermarkets and local crime rates. Indeed, these days, your postcode can be a major factor in your education, as you need to live within specific catchment areas to be admitted to certain schools.

For those looking to move, then, schools are a costly concern. For those selling their house, meanwhile, the value of a good school nearby can be a lesson well worth learning.

Indeed, new research from Lloyds Bank reveals that parents are willing to pay an average of £53,000 more to live in an area close to a top performing state school – an increase of £13,000 from last year.

Average property prices have now reached £366,744 in the postal districts of the top 30 state schools in England, which achieved the strongest GCSE results in 2015, with homes typically trading at a premium of £53,426 – or 17 per cent – compared to the county average of £313,318.

The postal districts of six of the 30 top state schools command a house price premium in excess of £150,000, compared to their surrounding areas. Properties in the postal district of Beaconsfield High School have the largest premium, with homes trading £629,021 higher than the county average house price (£367,191) – which any schoolchild will be able to tell you calculates at almost £1 million.

This growth means that, in addition to securing a place for a child at a top school, buying in the right area can also prove an A-grade investment, with capital growth accelerating ahead of the UK average – making a tidy profit by the time the kids have grown up and left for university.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank Mortgage Products Director, says: “Schools with the best exam performance are proving to be an increasingly strong draw for homemovers, as we’ve seen house prices rise sharply in locations close to such schools. Our analysis shows that since 2011 average house prices in areas with the best state schools have increased by £76,000, compared to a national increase of £42,145. And seven of the areas covered in this survey have seen house prices rise by over £100,000 in the last five years.”