24% of parents have moved home to be in school catchment area, says survey

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Nearly a quarter of parents have moved house to be within their desired school catchment area, a survey has found.

Some 24% of parents with school age children have either already bought or rented a new property to secure an address near where they want their child to be educated, Santander Mortgages found.

Those families willing to move are prepared to pay a 12% premium for their desired catchment area, equivalent to an extra £26,800 in the current property market.

This is just under the average full-time salary in the UK, at £28,2133, Santander said.

Just over half (51%) of families who have moved to be within a catchment area had sold their previous property, but 30% said they had bought a second home.

Nearly a fifth (19%) of those who moved to be in a catchment area rented a property to secure their desired address.

Parents had also made other sacrifices to be located within a sought-after catchment area.

A fifth (20%) of those who moved had changed jobs, while 20% say they were forced to downsize and 19% moved to an area where they did not feel safe.

A quarter (25%) admit they overstretched themselves, paying more for the property than they could realistically afford and 26% moved to a location far away from family or friends.

The study suggests that the moves made by many of these families are temporary. More than two-fifths (44%) of those who moved to be within a catchment area expect to leave as soon as their child has secured a place, rising to two-thirds (66%) of parents in London.

Miguel Sard, managing director of mortgages, Santander UK said: "Living within a certain school catchment area is top of the wish list for many families but often these addresses come at a premium.

"Our study highlights the significant financial and lifestyle sacrifices that parents are making to be within the catchment area of a desired school.

"Buyers need to do their research as properties in catchment areas often come with a hefty price tag, especially in London where competition for school places is fierce."

See full story in the County Times

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