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Good school proximity a priority

Over a third of prospective home owners with children aged 10 or under claim that being in the catchment area of a good school is the top priority for them.

And many are prepared to pay an extra £12,000 to do so, with the average price premium for a good catchment area £5,663.

Phil Cliff, a director of Santander Mortgages, said: 'People are increasingly concerned about the value of a good education, and in some areas of the country there is a significant amount of competition for places at sought-after schools.

'This has led to many parents trying to move to a particular area deliberately to improve their child's chances of getting into their desired school. Some in-demand property features such as being located within the catchment area of a good school can increase the property value considerably.'

The figures have shown a marked rise. In the West Midlands, a good catchment area was the priority for 26 percent. In the North East, the last time buyers bought a home the issue was the main concern of only 6 percent. Now that figure stands at 16 percent. The study showed that women were more concerned than men to move into a good catchment area, and were willing to pay a £7,300 premium, compared with £4,450 for men.

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