Families renting closer to high performing schools, according to Countrywide

August 3, 2015

28% of properties rented across the UK within a kilometre of an OFSTED school were made available to families so far in 2015, according to research by Countrywide.

This figure has increased from under 10% in 2008, with a third of properties rented going to families with children in 2015.

For the first time, in 2015 in London over half of properties rented were to families in the kilometre surrounding an outstanding school.

This is not only because of the fierce competition for school places but also because there are a growing number of families living in the private rented sector.

As a result, families are likely to move both for work and their children’s education.

The summer months are when most families consider moving, reveals the Countrywide Quarterly Lettings Index.

Over half of families with children in the private rented sector move in between the months of June and September, in time for the following academic year. Households with children moving in to the area close to an outstanding school move an average of just a mile.

When compared to the three miles that average households in the private rented sector move, this distance is considerably shorter.

Tenants are willing to pay a premium to live close to a high performing school, the figures revealed.

The average tenant living within a kilometre of a school rated as outstanding paid 14% more than someone living outside this parameter.

Tenants living in three or four bedroom houses pay an average of 16% more whereas those living in one and two bedroom flats pay a small, almost insignificant premium.

David Fell, research analyst at Countrywide, said: “There are 1.6 million families with children living in the private rented sector, 20% more than last year, which means school catchment areas are becoming increasingly relevant to the rental market. Many of these families are choosing to rent close to the school gates and in some cases parents are taking advantage of the flexibility of renting to move from the fringes of their preferred school’s catchment area to ensure their child’s entry.”

A house on one side of the road can be let out for 15-20% more than an identical house on the other side where catchment areas are tightly defined.