A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has shown that despite high demand for property in ‘good school’ catchment areas, the value-added-premium that potential buyers are willing to pay for the privilege is falling.

The first survey for three years has suggested that the percentage premium home buyers are willing to pay has fallen from 12pc to 8pc. However, rising house prices, the actual figure being paid has remained unchanged at £16,000. The findings suggest that the increase in house prices has led to affordability difficulties in areas close to good schools which in turn is putting a lid on prices.

RICS spokesman Jeremy Leaf said: “A secondary school with a good reputation can cause mayhem in a local property market. Buyers with children of school age will do and pay anything to get their children a place. However, our latest figures suggest some people are simply being priced out of the market in these key locations.

“It is quite normal for potential buyers to check the local Ofsted reports before they read the particulars for their preferred properties. The education effect on property prices can extend well beyond the school run boundaries.”

Facts and figures
• People are willing to spend more renting a property in a good school catchment area.

• Catchment areas can expand or shrink according to the school’s popularity. When a homeowner looks to sell their property, it may not command the same premium that they paid.

• The average house price is £198, 552, according to government figures.

• Sending your child to a private preparatory school costs between £1,750 to £3,500 per term (day student), and £3,400 to £5,250 for a boarder per term, according to the Independent Schools Council. Private senior schooling costs are even higher – for day students between £2,400-£3,600 (girls), and £2,500-£4,500 (boys) per term. For boarders, fees range from £4,050 to £6,800 (girls) and £4,400 to £7,200 (boys) per term.

The cost of education at an independent school in the UK varies and is at the discretion of the institution. There are no national standards. Parents should expect to pay a minimum of £8,000 per year and fees can be as high as £25,000.

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