Good schools "add a third onto house prices"

05 September 2003
Living in the catchment area of a good state primary school can add up to a third (33 per cent) onto the price of your home, according to the latest research.

A study carried out by Professor Paul Cheshire of the London School of Economics and Stephen Sheppard of Williams College in the United States found that homes near top primary schools can cost as much as 33 per cent more than homes near the worst schools.

Research also showed that those houses in the catchment area of a leading secondary school were about 18 per cent more expensive than homes close to poorly performing schools.

The research team discovered that a house in the catchment area of a good primary school was worth around £42,550 more than one that was not, while one in the catchment area of a good secondary school sold for an average of £23,750 more.

The findings have been released following a study of 490 houses sold in the Reading area of Berkshire during 1999 and 2000. School quality was measured using official league tables for Key Stage 2 tests and GCSE exams leading up to the house sale.

Prof Cheshire said: "Estate agents have been telling us for a long time that house prices are higher if there is a good local school.

"Our study gives a precise estimate of this increase. The results confirm that getting your children into a better school is directly related to income."

The researchers said that in London, a good primary school could raise the value of an average home from £240,000 to £320,000.

They concluded that it was only location near top schools that affected price, finding that there was little price difference between homes near average schools and those near the worst schools.

Last year an LSE report found that people will not only move home to send their children to the best schools, but some parents had even bought tiny flats in desirable catchment areas and pretended to be local residents to qualify.