Back to School - How Catchment Areas Shape Our Buying and Selling Habits

Sun 04 Sep 2016

ONE of the big triggers in the property year is the beginning of the autumn school term. Once the children are back to school there is more time for house hunting and just enough time to be in a new home by Christmas.

This time of year is also the time when parents start the application process for schools, the following Autumn. Over the past few years, as school catchment areas have reduced in size to accommodate a growing population, proximity to a top school has become an increasingly valuable point for property sellers.

In the battle for school places, many parents will now consider moving house to guarantee their child has access to their preferred school in the area. Santander Bank undertook a survey that shows the extent some buyers are willing to go to secure their desired school place.

The research found that families are prepared to spend a premium of up to 18% - equivalent to £32,127 on the average home price – to get a property within the catchment area they are targeting. Over a 25% of parents with school children surveyed by the bank said they have either bought or rented a property to secure an address in a certain catchment area.

It seems that many of these parents are willing to make significant sacrifices when it comes to the property in order to secure that all-important school space.

Furthermore, a quarter of those who relocated specific schools actually downsized, in order to facilitate the move. 31% even moved to an area they didn’t like – just to ensure their child gains entry to their preferred school.

The importance of school catchments is further underlined, when you consider two thirds of parents that expect to move again believe catchment areas will have an impact on where they choose to live. found that after price, when looking for a new property the availability to good schools was the joint-top factor for the 35-44 year-old demographic.


At Lovett Sales & Lettings we recruit locally, so all our staff are clued up on all the local schools in our area – how they stand in terms of pass rates, and what the catchment areas are for each school. The geographical boundaries are as follows:

Above: Primary School Catchment Areas, PE19


When marketing your home and carrying out viewings, as well as showing the benefits of the property itself, things like schools and local amenities are also very important to prospective buyers.

You can find a comprehensive map of school catchment areas in Huntingdonshire below, but please remember geography isn’t always the only determining factor for school entry!,PrimaryCatchments

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