It has been a long-held view that property values and desirability are inextricably linked to the proximity of high-performing schools. Parents, eager for their children to receive the best education, strive to live within the allotted catchment areas; this in turn often drives prices up.
However, a recent report has claimed that the public are looking for a lot more than an outstanding school when considering the location they would prefer to live in.
Whilst 31% of female and 25% of male respondents, of the survey carried out by regulated property buyer Good Move, felt that moving close to impressive education facilities was a priority to their families, this pales in comparison to the 44% of respondents that crave a scenic view.
The report also revealed that being close to budget supermarkets, like Aldi, was more important than the distance to the local school. Across all age groups and genders, 39% value a discount supermarket whereas only 21% considered a school the determining factor in a home purchase.
In third place was an array and choice of local bars and eateries with 37% of the vote. 34% were looking for a small high street of independent shops like the traditional butchers and grocers, 33% focused on the availability of local walks and 32% were focused on the distance to a high-end supermarket like Waitrose.
In fact, the only considerations below the desire to be within a school catchment area was the proximity of the local library at 25% and the local coffee shop at 28%
Ross Counsell, director at Good Move, said: “Everyone has their own priorities when moving house, but it’s interesting to see how the overall patterns are changing. Budget supermarkets are definitely growing in popularity, especially among the younger generations, and their presence in a region is now making a place more desirable to live.”
Whilst the whole home buying community may have other preferences that supersede the location of the local school, many parents will be anxiously awaiting the placement of their children for September’s school intake.
They will be particularly nervous considering the school catchment areas during last year’s process, with many school catchment areas falling below 150 metres. St Andrew’s Church School in Taunton, Somerset, set a catchment of just 93.3 metres, with around 45% of schools oversubscribed.
How important is a school catchment area in determining the appeal of a property?