• Olivia Thomas

Catchment Areas... Do schools with good and above ofstead ratings attract property investors?

Several people who have been looking to buy in the Amber Valley area recently have asked me what the ofsted ratings are for our local schools. Whilst the majority were parents, some were simply looking to invest in bricks and mortar, and it led me to thinking about the phenomenon of how the ofsted ratings of schools are considered to be coupled with house prices in their locality.

According to my research it seems that in some areas of the country parents are prepared to spend £100,000s to get their children in the best state schools and some property experts say that where state schools are rated outstanding, homeowners enjoy an average property price premium across the country of approximately £44,000. (based on figures from 2016)

It appears from some articles that I’ve read that it can be cheaper to buy a property in a catchment area to get your child into an outstanding state school than to pay for private education in a public school. Not only is the education of your child ‘free’ in terms of spending money on expensive fees, but your house can also increase in price throughout the period of your child’s education if it’s in the right catchment area. Of course the school in question would need to maintain its outstanding rating.

However, a cautionary note as always to those looking to invest in property, particularly if you’re looking to invest in property in an expensive school catchment area in your locality. There are unfortunately stories where parents have invested in properties in the catchment areas of schools rated outstanding only to find that after a few years the headmaster/headmistress of the school that achieved the outstanding rating moves on, and this has an impact on the rating of the school. It might also be the situation that the rating of the school begins to deteriorate generally due to other factors. The decline in the ofsted rating of schools it seems might have a negative impact on house prices in much the same way as a good ofsted rating might have a positive impact.

As I always say in my newsletters, or to anyone who seeks advice from me regarding the local property market, property investment like any other investment is usually a long term commitment and you should always do your homework, consider what is right for your own situation, and seek professional advice before making any investment.

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