What are the price premiums for homes near top schools? Property news update

Plus, the 'Lidl' effect, how property is funding retirement, and breaking tenancy agreements

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The average value of a home within a mile of the top 50 best performing schools in England is just over 16 per cent higher than those in the nearby area, suggests a new report.

According to research by Knight Frank which focused on secondary schools that achieved the best A-level scores per student in the 2012/13 academic year, the highest premium was around Sevenoaks School, where sales prices in 2014 were 221 per cent higher than in the rest of the local authority, or a premium of £425,291.

It was followed by St Clares, Oxford and Altrincham Grammar School for Boys.

"When deciding on a location for their family, parents can place a great deal of focus on the level and quality of education that local schools can provide and as a result good schools can be an important driver of local property markets," said Oliver Knight, Residential Research, Knight Frank. "However, the size of the price uplift varies and it will be affected by the location and the type of housing stock on offer in a given area."

The report also highlights areas where homes close to top ranking schools 'trade at a discount' to the Local Authority average. On this basis, the 'best value' houses are found around Scarborough College, where prices within a mile are 41 per cent or £70,094, below the average.

The 'Lidl' effect...

Research by online estate agents Housesimple.co.uk suggests that average property prices in postcodes where there is a Lidl supermarket are on average 19 per cent higher than neighbouring postcodes without one of the chain's budget outlets.

Property funding retirement 

One in 14 of people who have not yet retired say that they are planning to sell their home to fund their retirement, according to Barings, a jump of two per cent since last year.

Overall, around 16 per cent of people say they are planning to rent or sell property to fund their retirement, the highest figure since 2009.

"It is worrying that the number of people relying exclusively on their property to fund retirement has increased again," said Rod Aldridge, Head of UK Wholesale Distribution at Barings. "Property can, of course, form part of a diversified investment portfolio but this year’s research indicates that more people are investing in property as a retirement source and this could mean they are too concentrated in the asset class. Property prices can be volatile so relying on your home to provide all your income to fund retirement is risky."

How many renters are breaching their tenancy agreement?

Research for mortgage provider Ocean Finance indicates that 94 per cent of people who rent their home are doing things that may breach their tenancy agreements.

Potential issues include redecorating (admitted by 54 per cent), while half of renters said they had a pet and around one in 20 have also sublet rooms. A quarter said they had not fully read their tenancy agreement when they moved in.

"Many standard tenancy agreements contain a lot of ‘niggly’ clauses about cutting the grass and emptying the bins," said Ian Williams, spokesman for Ocean Finance. "While breaking these conditions might seem trivial, doing so could have serious consequences. Blu-Tack stains on the walls might be just the excuse the landlord needs to withhold some or all of their deposit."