Parents paying £32,000 more to live in good school catchment areas

Students leaving school one with a bicycle

More than a quarter of parents with children of school age have either bought or rented a property to ensure their kids are in the catchment area of their chosen school, according to new research from Santander Mortgages.

What's more, those keen to get their children into a good school are prepared to both pay a lot more, and live in an area they don't like, to get a place.

Property price premiums
On average, parents with an eye on education are willing to pay 18% - or £32,127 - more to move to their desired catchment area.

And for those in London, the cost of moving to a good school catchment area is much higher at £77,113.

This compares to £21,086 in the North East, £37,996 in Scotland and just £9,557 in Yorkshire and Humberside.

Miguel Sard at Santander UK said: "With competition for school places fiercer than ever, parents are making significant financial sacrifices to be within the catchment area of desirable schools.

"All buyers have a wish list, and being within a certain school catchment is increasingly common amongst young families – but can often come at a cost."

Other sacrifices
Paying more for a property is not the only sacrifice parents are prepared to make to ensure their offspring get into a good school.

Almost of a third of those who move house to enable their children to go to a certain school also change jobs, while one in four downsize to make the move possible and about a third settle in an area they don't like.

Temporary move
Santander's study suggests that the moves made by many of these families are only temporary, with less than a quarter planning to continue living in the area they move to for education reasons indefinitely.

In fact, close to half of those renting or buying in a particular catchment area expect to move straight back out again once their child secures a place.

Just under a third, meanwhile, will move again once their children finish school.

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