School catchment areas seen a priority by homebuyers

MOVING into the catchment area of a good school is becoming more and more important for homebuyers, according to a new report.

People looking to move to the catchment area for their preferred school for September 2012 should think about putting their property on the market now.

That is the advice from independent estate agents and valuers Harrison Murray, on the back of a study carried out by Santander Mortgages.

The deadline for primary school applications for next September is around mid-January 2012. So if you have identified a preferred school – selling or buying your home and moving to the catchment area before Christmas could be the key to securing a place.

Development director at Harrison Murray, Jackie Scotten said: “School catchment areas have always been an important issue for homebuyers, but it seems that they are becoming more of a priority for many parents.

“With primary school applications for 2012 admission just a few short months away, now is a perfect time to move into the catchment area for a preferred school to get the family settled before the process begins.”

The findings of the study reveal that 37 per cent of people with a child aged 10, or under, placed securing a home and school of their choice as a top priority when moving. They would be willing to pay an extra £12,141 to do so.

In addition, one in four people with a child aged 11-17 see schooling as a major concern and would be willing to pay an £11,564 premium for the privilege.

People planning a move in general would be willing to pay an extra £5,663 on average to be able to set up home in a good catchment area.