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Homebuyers will pay for school catchment area privilege, says report

Santander study reveals over a third of prospective homebuyers would pay extra for house in catchment area of a good school

If you thought buying a house or having children were already two of the most expensive things you can do, research from Santander will make for grim reading. It has grouped these two major life events together and found that over a third of prospective homebuyers with children 10 years or under say that moving into the catchment area of a good school is their top priority – and they will pay over £12,000 for the privilege.

Of more than 2,000 prospective homeowners questioned by the bank, 37% of those with a child of primary school age said they were willing to pay an average £12,141 extra to secure a home – and school – of their choice. That falls to an average £5,663 for everyone planning to move in the next five years.

Wealthy buyers in the south east are prepared to pay an average £10,961 to live in a decent catchment area – despite those in the West Midlands being the most concerned about moving into a good catchment area, with one in four of them (26%) citing it as a main priority. Only 14% of people in the south east said schooling was the most important factor in their homebuying decisions.

In the north east only 6% of buyers showed a particular interest in the catchment area the last time they purchased a home but 16% of people planning to buy a property in the region now consider it a main priority.

Santander said its research suggests that women are much more concerned about moving into a good catchment area than men and are willing to pay a £7,281 premium in comparison to £4,456 for men.

Did you pay more to be near a good school? Was it worth it? With catchment areas changing all the time, it seems like a bit of a gamble to pay extra if your child is not yet of school age – but do you think it’s worth taking the chance? © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds