Good schools boost house prices

PARENTS seeking good schools for their children are helping to push up property prices, a new report said today.And according to one Ipswich estate agent, parents are prepared to pay around 10 to 20 per cent more for a property in the catchment area of a popular school.

PARENTS seeking good schools for their children are helping to push up property prices, a new report said today.

And according to one Ipswich estate agent, parents are prepared to pay around 10 to 20 per cent more for a property in the catchment area of a popular school.

He said this was despite the fact that property prices have been levelling off lately.

Colin Girling, spokesman for the Suffolk branch of the National Association of Estate Agents, said: "Properties in the catchment areas for Northgate and Copleston High Schools come at a premium. Some of them go for silly money.

"A three-bedroom semi in the Northgate area can fetch £160,000 to £165,000 – a good 10pc more than one on the other side of town which can fetch more like £140,000 to £150,000.

"We don't tend to get the same demand for properties in popular primary school catchment areas.

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"But the St Margaret's School catchment area is popular – and that tends to be the Northgate area as well. A terraced house in this area of Ipswich could be 10pc to 20pc more than one in Bramford Road.

"Even though the market in general has slowed, there is still a demand for this type of property.

"There has been a lot of downward readjusting of prices recently as vendors realise they have got to ask for the right price otherwise their property won't move.

"But people will still pay a lot more to be in a desirable catchment area even in this current market."

Mr Girling's comments come on the back of a recent study by the Nationwide Building Society.

The study said a typical home near a primary school with key stage two results 5pc higher than the average can be as much as £2,000 more expensive than those elsewhere.

The research showed that schools whose pass rates for seven to 11-year-olds were 1pc higher than the average added 0.25pc to the price of properties in the area.

The results of the survey confirm the belief that local schools are an important factor for many people when buying a house.

Alex Bannister, Nationwide's group economist, said: "Primary schooling is viewed as crucial in providing children with the basic building blocks of learning and thus parents put a great deal of effort into researching the performance of local schools.

"Since catchments are relatively small and most parents want to limit the time that their children spend travelling to school, it would seem logical if properties that are close to a good school command a premium."'

The Nationwide survey compared the key stage two performances of 13,773 primary schools in England with house prices in their catchment areas.

Have you paid more for a house near a good school? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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