Top schools add up to 25% to house prices

Homes in the vicinity of the top performing independent schools command a 25 per cent over the average for their region, while the clamour for homes close to the best non-selective state schools pushes their values up 20 per cent over the average for the regions they are in.

New analysis of GCSE results by real estate adviser, Savills, puts the average value of a home close to one of the country’s top 10 per cent of state schools, where points per pupil average over 450 according to the Department of Education, at £348,000.  This equates to a 12 per cent premium above the average for their regions. Unsurprisingly perhaps, this rises to £414,000 in the postcode sector of the top independent schools, an average premium of £83,000.

Non selective state schools, which usually offer places on the basis of proximity to the gate, push house prices up to an average of around £400,000, a punchy £66,000 (20%) above their regional average.  By contrast, homes close to high performing selective state schools which are dominated by grammar schools, offer much better value at an average of just under £290,000, a marginal 2 per cent premium above their regional average. Homes close to the worst performing schools (under 300 points per pupil) cost only £220,000 on average, a discount of 19 per cent.

Graph showing relationship with house prices

London and the South East have the highest concentration of top performing schools, with over a quarter of all pupils attending such a school, whether state or independent, and in both outer London and the South East almost one in six (17%) pupils are in schools achieving over 450 points per pupil.  By contrast, across the Midlands and the North that figure is between 6 and 7 per cent.

The regional pattern of house price premiums reflect this.  The average cost of a home close to a high performing state school is £1million in inner London, £500,000 in outer London and £400,000 in the South East.  In the South East, it costs on average £80,000 more to live close to a top non selective state school, where the catchment area is critical,  than a selective state school.

In the West Midlands, where just 7 per cent of schools are in this bracket, parents should expect to pay a 49 per cent premium over the regional average, or £97,000 more for their home. This is followed by Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East, at 44 and 38 per cent respectively. 

Table showing regional variations for top performing schools

At a local level, West Dorset tops the list in terms of choice of high performing schools, with 79 per cent of pupils in top state and independent schools.  It also offers relative value, with the weighted average house price around such schools at just £290,795, well below second and third ranked Tunbridge Wells and Epson and Ewell, at £403,592 and £464,748 respectively.

Other locations with over half of all GCSE students in top performing schools include Cambridge, Hertsmere and Richmond, all with average prices over £500,000, rising to over £1.1 million in Hammersmith & Fulham.

Lucian Cook, head of Savills UK residential research comments: “This analysis tells us that many families will compromise on most things, but will do everything in their power to ensure best education for their children, including paying top dollar for their homes.  While it is perhaps no surprise that some of the most expensive homes are in the proximity of top independent schools, parents opting for the private school route face the double whammy of high house prices and school fees.”

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Top schools add up to 25% to house prices

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Top schools add up to 25% to house prices
BDC August 2022 issue - 295

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