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According to recent research published by Santander Mortgages, over a quarter of parents with school age children have either bought or rented a property within their desired school catchment area.
The study also found that families are prepared to spend an 11% premium – which equates to an average £23,707 in the current property market – in order to move to their desired catchment area. This is just under the average full-time salary in the UK, which currently stands at £27,603. On a regional basis, those living in London are willing to pay the highest premium (15%) – equating to £71,539 in the current property market.
17% of parents reported having changed jobs as a result of a move into a preferred school catchment area with a further 20% saying they were forced to downsize while 15% moved to an area they did not like. A further 22% admit they overstretched themselves, paying more for the property than they could realistically afford and 21% moved to a location that was far away from family or friends.
Santander’s study suggests that the moves made by many of these families are temporary, with only 29% planning to continue living in the area. More than a quarter (27%) of those who moved to be within a particular catchment area said they had, or would, move out straight away once their child had secured a place.
Amongst families who have moved to be within their desired catchment area, almost half (49%) said they had sold their previous property and purchased a new one within their chosen area. A quarter (25%) said they purchased a second home in the catchment area, while just over a quarter (26%) secured their desired address by renting a property.
This trend looks set to continue as 58% of parents who expect to move house before their children leave school, say catchment areas will have an impact on where they choose to live.
Looking regionally, there are significant variations in the overall proportion of parents moving to be within a catchment area and also in their decision as to whether they buy, rent or look to secure a second property. Overall London has the highest proportion of parents moving to secure an address within a specific catchment area (46%), while East Midlands has the lowest (11%).
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