St Albans families pay a premium to buy near state primaries

Homebuying and schools are tied up together.

Homebuying and schools are tied up together. - Credit: Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

New data has confirmed what many St Albans families have long been aware of: living in the catchment area of the most sought-after state primaries comes with a hefty price tag attached.

Families living in the streets closest to Oakwood Primary School, for example, can expect to pay £550,477 on average for their home, compared to £487,316 for those living elsewhere in the same postcode.

Across England, those choosing to buy in the vicinity of schools rated Outstanding by Ofsted can expect to shell out an average of £43,773 more than those in the wider local area.

Online estate agency took a sample of 50 schools from a total of 300 rated Outstanding by Ofsted in England. It then looked at the average property price in each school’s postcode area and compared this to the prices paid in the streets closest to the school.

The research found that families are paying 18 per cent more to buy close to an Outstanding school than they’re spending on other properties in the area.

Other parts of the country have it worse than St Albans, however – homes near St Luke’s Primary School in Brighton and Hove top the study’s list, commanding an average premium of £151,121.

Not surprisingly, more than half of the primaries listed are in the south of England.

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Alex Gosling, CEO of said: “One of the most valuable gifts we can give our children is a good education, and many parents will go to great lengths to get their children a place at the best local state-funded primary school. But there is a price to pay for the best free schooling.

“Private education is out of reach for many families, which is why there is high demand for places at top rated state primary schools. But there aren’t enough places to go around, which has led property prices in the catchment areas of popular primary schools to rocket in recent years.

“Attending an outstanding state school can offer an education as good as, if not better, than paying to go private, but with property prices close to the best state schools commanding average premiums of 18 per cent, paying the price to live close by certainly doesn’t equate to a free education.”