Children are gearing up for a new term and at the school gates,
some parents will be sending off their loved ones in the knowledge
they paid a premium to buy their home in the perfect location.
School catchment areas aren't always the top priority when buying a
new home, but for investors and parents alike, they could offer
some reassurance against the fluctuations of the property
Michael Fiddes, Head of Agency at Strutt & Parker notes
that: "Catchment areas for state schools are clearly defined,
however parents choosing to send their children to public schools
will also want to be within a certain distance. If you are going to
watch your children play sport on a Wednesday night, you don't want
to be driving for hours and hours - so we often see homes near to
good boarding schools enter fierce competitive bidding wars."
There are other advantages too - these properties often hold
their value in a challenging market and tend to sell faster if the
market stalls, simply because there will always be parents willing
to pay the extra premium for their children. This competition for
homes pushes prices up and generates something of a
For those parents who are looking at state schools - the
competition for an address within the catchment area of a top-rated
school makes them almost recession proof as they always create a
strong demand among parents. These properties often come with an
attractive lifestyle too, located in thriving communities, which
makes them popular with all buyers - although school-run traffic
can be an issue!
But, it is important to understand that local councils can
change catchment area boundaries, and simply with a change of head
teacher, a school with a high Ofsted rating may not always perform
so well. Falling standards at a school, to the point it loses its
precious Ofsted rating, could have a negative effect on prices.
Fiddes concludes: "The proximity of good schools is always a
factor worth bearing in mind when looking to purchase a home as the
demand to be near to these establishments continues to have a
positive effect on the local market."