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Wales’ school catchment areas add a Premium to house prices, study reveals

PARENTSE across the UK are eagerly getting their children ready for the forthcoming school year. In doing so, a recurrent consideration for many is the impact of their postcode on the school admission process.

In the UK, and especially in Wales, living closer to a desired school might be the golden ticket for ensuring your child secures a place. While schools use various criteria for admissions, research reveals a significant reliance on the ‘distance from school’, a factor that inadvertently benefits those who live closer. Such proximity, however, doesn’t come without its price.

A study by Online Money Advisor set out to discover where this ‘proximity premium’ is most pronounced in Wales. The investigation aimed to reveal the schools with the priciest catchment areas and the average property premiums for homes within half a mile from a school.

Highlights from the Findings:

  1. St Mary’s R.C. Primary School, Cardiff, tops the list with an average property price of £595,313 for those within 0.5 miles of the institution.
  2. Colwyn Bay sees the highest average price boost, with properties near schools fetching a premium of 24.28% compared to their distant counterparts.
  3. Across the length and breadth of Wales, proximity to a school means an average price surge of 6.09%, marking the highest regional increase in the UK.

Read the full results here.

Mel Ingle, an education expert and founder of Ingle Education, offers deeper insights and addresses potential concerns in a comprehensive Q&A accompanying the data.

In her insights, the uneven landscape of average house prices across the country is evident. However, when the lens narrows down to premiums within school catchment areas, distinct patterns emerge:

  • Swansea stands out with Mayals Primary School, Newton Primary School, and Oystermouth Primary School all featuring in the top five.
  • Cardiff also emerges prominently with Birchgrove Primary School, Corpus Christi Catholic High School, and Pontprennau Primary School making their marks.

On a city/town level, homes in Colwyn Bay, Pontypool, and Pontypridd witness the most significant price spikes due to their proximity to schools.

Interestingly, while Wales sees a pronounced 6.09% price hike in school-adjacent properties, the capital city of the UK, London, presents a contrasting figure. There, the urge to reside near schools seems less frantic, with houses only costing 0.45% more when within half a mile of educational institutions.

For a comprehensive breakdown of their methodology, including details on their extensive dataset of over 57,000 homes across Britain, you can visit the Online Money Advisor’s project page.

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This study underscores the complex interplay between education and housing markets, a delicate balance that parents, prospective homeowners, and policymakers must navigate. It also reiterates that in the realm of property, location is, and perhaps always will be, king.