School catchment areas are the greatest London conundrum. Considered priceless by parents and estate agents — particularly on the brink of a new academic year — they can and do change significantly from one year to the next.
Much in the way that the ‘Crossrail effect’ saw house prices near proposed Elizabeth line stations soar, proximity to a school continues to be advantageous.
In theory, the closer you live to a good school, the more likely you are to be in a ‘priority area’ if it chooses to offer extra places that way.
Inevitably, this comes at a cost. A recent report by Online Money Advisor showed homes within half a mile of St George’s Hanover Square Primary School cost around £10,975,000. This in Westminster, where average sold prices are £996,153 — hardly cheap but still a huge price gap.
Of all London boroughs Barnet comes out on top with house price inflation near schools of almost 10 per cent.
What’s the real difference between an outstanding and good rating, and how do property prices (and tutoring costs) compare?
Should you follow the career of a brilliant headteacher, for instance, or weigh up private school costs in a cheaper area vs the price of living near a high-ranking state?
In a city with an average sold house price of £528,000, there are seemingly endless ways to gauge value. It’s tricky to know whether a guess at a catchment area should remain top of the wish list.
One way to beat zones that shift from one year to the next is to go so local that you won’t be frozen out when nets are cast for new students.
Agents will be keen to point out the proximity of ‘outstanding’ secondaries to these strategically-located homes, which we think are some of the best on the market under £750,000.
A modern three-bedroom house in a gated development with allocated parking and particularly good storage. The open green space of Blackheath and Greenwich Park is nearby, as is Leigh Academy Blackheath.
Foxtons, 020 3834 8685
An appealing two-bedroom cottage in the historic heart of Walthamstow village, near Walthamstow School for Girls. It has original wood floors and manageable gardens to the front and rear.
Estates East, 020 3897 7792
Tottenham Hale, N17
This smart end-of-terrace near Down Lane Park and Harris Academy Tottenham has four double bedrooms across two floors. Every bedroom has its own ensuite.
Austin Homes, 020 3909 6474
This two-bedroom apartment with parquet floors occupies a prime spot near the river, East Putney station and Ashcroft Technology Academy. Highlights include a south-facing balcony.
Winkworth, 020 3823 6033
A bright, black-canvas apartment on the ground floor of an attractive Thirties block close to Ricards Lodge High School. It has two bedrooms and the sale includes a share of freehold.
Andrew Scott Robertson, 020 8971 6780
Muswell Hill, N11
Split across the second and third floors of this Thirties semi, this flat has three bedrooms and a bonus study area in the hall. There’s a bluebell wood one way and Alexandra Park School the other.
Tatlers, 020 3879 5551
This versatile three-bedroom end of terrace has high ceilings, a good-size garden and, unusually, a storage space running the length of the house. Ark Elvin Academy is nearby.
Foxtons, 020 3840 3876
A modern three-bedroom flat in prime spot near the river and Sacred Heart High School. Perks include a private entrance, second bathroom and a rear garden accessed from the kitchen and bedroom.
Dexters, 020 8939 6061
A four-bedroom maisonette just off Brick Lane, with over 1,200 square feet of living space and a large garden. Swanlea School is close, as are two Tube stations and the open green space of Weavers Fields.
Winkworth, 020 3907 3670
Hackney Downs, E8
This smartly refurbished flat has almost 1,000 square feet of space, including two double bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, reception and study. Minutes from Hackney Downs and Mossbourne Community Academy.
Foxtons, 020 3906 2944