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Paying price of education.

Parents who want to send their children to a top state school face paying a premium of more than pounds 47,000 on average on the cost of their home, research shows.

David Pickup, who runs the Pickups estate agency at Yarm, said: "We find some buyers only look for property in the catchment areas of certain schools and in the Yarm, Eaglescliffe and Egglescliffe areas, we have some top schools. It is one of the factors in Yarm being a property hot spot as far as property prices and sales are concerned."

Some parents put absolute faith in school league tables but there are many factors which can affect them that have little to do with standards of education.

Property in the catchment areas of England's top 50 community primary schools costs an average of 33pc more than homes in the surrounding area, according to Barclays Private Clients.

The finance group says the average cost of a home in one of the catchment areas was pounds 194,507 last year compared with an average of pounds 146,676 in the surrounding areas, meaning parents would pay an extra pounds 47,831 if they wanted to send their children to one of the top 50 schools.

Property in the catchment area costs an average of pounds 275,890, compared with pounds 75,643 outside the school's area.

But homes in the catchment areas of good schools are not always more expensive, with property close to Little Leigh Primary in Northwich, Cheshire, ranked 32nd, selling for 29pc less than homes in the surrounding area.

Overall, parents can expect to pay a premium on property in the catchment area of 37 of the top 50 primary schools.

Russell Prior, of Barclays Private Clients Premier Banking, said: "The figures highlight the fact that people are prepared to pay a housing premium to get their children into a top state primary school.

"Ordinarily private education is seen as expensive but, as can be seen from the study, education costs are not as transparent as might at first be thought."

Mr Pickup said: "I would not like to put a figure on what extra money parents are paying in Yarm to be in the catchment area of certain schools but I do not think it is anything like as high as pounds 47,000 extra."
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Title Annotation:Property News
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 12, 2003
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