Do local ‘outstanding’ schools impact the value of your home?
As our children return for another school year, we take a look at the region’s best schools, and the prices we should be prepared to pay, in the hope our children will be accepted into the area’s finest schools.
A report released earlier this year by The Department for Education (DfE) revealed that house prices are 8% higher near the best-performing primary schools and 6.8% higher near the best secondary schools. On top of this, a study conducted for Santander bank highlighted that one in six families in the UK deliberately buy or rent a second property within desirable school catchment areas.
This is something that is being mirrored in our region with Lexden, Colchester, being a prime example. Fenn Wright property expert and partner, James Gunther said: “Trafalgar Road and Collingwood Road have become popular for many families looking to buy a second property to ensure their children secure a place at Lexden Primary School and the area’s secondary schools; all ranked by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’.
“We all want to give our children the best start in life, especially when it comes to education”, he continued.
“We have seen a shift in our clients’ property preferences, with many happy to sacrifice space or pay more in order to get into an ‘outstanding’ school catchment.
“That isn’t to say that school catchment is the first thing on their list of priorities, but it is definitely a consideration.”
Lexden remains the most desirable and expensive district in Colchester with house prices 10% higher than the town average. For a four-bedroom home in Lexden, house prices start at £450-£500,000 and can reach over £1million; whilst renters can look at paying around £1500 PCM. This spike in house prices could be related to the many outstanding state and independent schools nearby, such as St Benedict’s Catholic College and Colchester Royal Grammar School that was granted two Royal Charters by King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.
However, Lexden isn’t the only area in Essex that is popular with families. Over the past three to four years house prices in Brightlingsea have seen a steady increase as more parents look to move out of Colchester for their children to attend The Colne Community School and College, another Ofsted ‘outstanding’ school. Families making the move from Colchester to Brightlingsea can also take advantage of the lower house prices, with a four-bedroom house starting at £325-£350,000.
Looking for a home in Colchester’s most desirable area? This property on Lexden Road has a wealth of character and has been extensively modernised.
In Ipswich the ‘outstanding’ state and independent schools provide a similar draw for those looking to be in the right catchment areas.
Charles Wright, partner at Fenn Wright said: “Many families looking for their new home within a specific catchment area in Ipswich often say they want to be within easy reach of Northgate High School, a state school, which was ranked in the top 10 in East Anglia in a recent league table.
“The Northgate catchment area can see house prices start at £250,000 for a three bedroom semi-detached home and rents available from £695PCM. However, for those looking to place their children in a good school from a home with a lower price tag, the nearby catchment for Copleston High School could be a great option, with house prices often starting at £20,000 less.
“Christchurch Park is a very popular part of Ipswich that is within the Northgate catchment, but there you will pay a premium for being within walking distance of Ipswich School – it isn’t just state schools that have the pulling power.
“The independent schools in Suffolk also draw families to specific areas. We have sold many properties on the Shotley Peninsula to parents wanting their children to attend the nearby independents such as the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook and Ipswich High School in Woolverstone.”
This property on Grosvenor Close is located close to Christchurch Park, Ipswich town centre and Northgate High School.
We all want to offer our children the best start in life, whether that requires us to invest thousands of pounds in school fees or in a more expensive property in the right area. No matter the preference, a good education can come at a cost. Contact one of our advisors who can help you find the best location for your next move.