Families across the UK are prepared to splash out more for good educational opportunities than any other neighborhood amenity.

Parents looking to secure their children’s entry into their preferred school by purchasing property in the catchment area—or zone—can expect to pay for the privilege, according to the latest data from Santander Mortgages.

Across the UK, parents with school-age children are prepared to pay on average, an extra £26,860 in a bid to secure a space at a top school.

"Living in the vicinity of a top-ranked school carries a significant house price premium," says Miguel Sard, managing director of mortgages at Santander UK. “If families are looking to move into a catchment area specifically to boost their chances of getting into an elite school, they can expect to pay a hefty price. Parents are prepared to sacrifice a lot to give their child the best start in life.”

Those in London are willing to part with the most cash to get housing within the catchment area of their first-choice school. The average premium of 15% in the capital equates to paying an extra £70,675 for a property compared to surrounding areas.

Those in the South East of England followed, where buyers will pay an additional 13% or £40,294, while parents in Northern Ireland are the least willing to pay extra, with the average premium in the country at 5%, totaling an average of £2,731.

In addition, for those looking to move into the catchment area of one of the top 100 secondary schools, for children ages 11-16, the costs mount even higher, as parents are prepared to pay a 42% price premium to be close to such a high ranked school.

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