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One in four parents move house to get kids into a good school

Written by: Christina Hoghton
A quarter of parents have had to move home to ensure they’re in the catchment area of the school they want their children to go to, research suggests.

Families are prepared to spend an extra 12% to bag their chosen school catchment address, adding £26,800 to the average UK property price, according to research from Santander Mortgages. This is only a little less than the average full-time salary in the UK, which currently stands at £28,213.

Making sacrifices

One in five of these parents admit they had to change jobs in order to get their kids into their preferred school, while 20% said they were forced to downsize and 19% moved to an area where they didn’t feel safe.

A quarter said they overstretched themselves, paying more for the property than they could realistically afford and over a quarter moved to a location that was far away from family or friends.

But nearly half (44%) of all those who moved to a certain catchment area admit they will leave as soon as a school place is secured. In London two thirds (66%) of parents plan to move as soon as their child has a place at the school.

Miguel Sard, managing director of mortgages, Santander UK, said: “Living within a certain school catchment area is top of the wish list for many families but often these addresses come at a premium. Our study highlights the significant financial and lifestyle sacrifices that parents are making to be within the catchment area of a desired school.

“Buyers need to do their research as properties in catchment areas often come with a hefty price tag, especially in London where competition for school places is fierce.”

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