I was having a chat with a Northampton property investor the other day, when he asked if schools, especially primary schools, affected the local property market in terms of demand from buyers and tenants to a property. Anecdotally, I have always known this to be true, a good school creates good demand and good demand does affect house prices. So, I asked my colleagues on the front line, who take the phone calls from people putting themselves on our mailing list and they confirmed that most people cite location as their number one factor.
After looking through our mailing list, it confirms there is a close correlation between the high demand areas of Northampton and the close proximity to a good primary school. Talking to my team in a recent morning meeting, they agreed many people would look to increase their budget quite significantly, whilst others would consider downgrading their property requirements to be close to a good primary school.
Those of you who regularly read this blog will know I like a challenge, so I decided to look at the science behind these assumptions. According to the School Guide website, Cedar Road Primary School is one of the best primary schools in Northampton. Its figures are certainly impressive. Their last Ofsted Report classified it as Good , a score of 105 on reading (National Average 99.4) at Key Stage 2, 5. These results are even more impressive when you look at pupil/staff ratio of 31:1.
Looking at property sales within quarter a mile of Cedar Road (the core of the catchment area), property values have risen in value since 1996 by 388.7% whilst according the Land Registry, the Northampton average as a whole has risen in the same time frame by 329.5%.
That means the parents of Cedar Road have seen the values of their properties rise proportionally 17.9% more than the Northampton average… interesting don’t you think?
However, whilst a good primary school significantly contributes more to house prices, the same can’t be said for secondary schools. There are two reasons for this, firstly, as secondary schools are much larger, so their catchment areas are correspondingly much larger, meaning parents don’t need to live so close to the school. Secondly, in the UK, whilst the difference between the top 25% and bottom 25% of secondary schools is not insignificant, in the primary school sector, the difference between the top 25% and bottom 25% is, according to the London School of Economics, is considerably and significantly more.
So if you are looking to invest in property then feel free to pop in for a coffee or ring / email us to discuss the Northampton property market and remember take lots of advice and seek out the best opinion. One good source of opinion, specific to the Northampton property market is the property blog, so don’t forget to subscribe.