There are many reasons why house prices vary dramatically within relatively small areas but the strongest factor is usually the performance of its local schools.
For example the catchment areas of good state schools command a 12% premium when compared to their county average, recent research has revealed.
The effect of independent schools on local house prices is less dramatic mainly because entrance requirements tend to be academic rather than geographical.
Nevertheless, parents who ask Garrington for help finding their ideal Surrey home tell me how acutely they feel the pressure to buy a home close to a decent independent school. So which are the most popular in Surrey?
Guildford is one of the counties’ best towns for independent schools with four that regularly feature in the ‘best’ lists. These are; Guildford High School for Girls (voted Sunday Times Independent School of the Year in 2012-2013), Tormead School, St Catherine’s and the Royal Grammar School.
But if you want to send your children to any of these schools then there’s a premium to pay when buying homes nearby and a good knowledge of the area is needed.
For example, Guildford isn’t the most expensive town in Surrey at an average house price of £376,942 but to live near one of these four centrally-located schools will cost you on average £563,362, which is £186,420 more than the town’s average price.
But happily Guildford’s excellent rail connections enable many children to travel in from other nearby Surrey towns such as Woking and villages such as East Horsley. And some pupils train it in from as far as Aldershot in neighbouring Hampshire.
Guildford is not the only town where excellent schools help maintain high demand for local property. Cobham, which is host to the ACS International School, has an average house price of £957,765, some two and a half times the counties’ average. But if you want to live near one of its sister schools, ACS International in Egham, then house prices are more affordable at £318,075 and significantly lower than nearby Englefield Green, Virginia Water and Wentworth.
Finally, other independent schools of note that many Garrington clients want to live near include Gordon’s School in Chobham (average house price £482,873); Epsom College in Epsom (£365,039); Charterhouse in Goldalming (£435,985) and Cranleigh School in Cranleigh (£373,408).
So, to understand the best value in these areas, please do not hesitate to contact Garrington, we would be more than happy to assist with any property related enquiries.
*All property prices are via Righmove sold prices data.