I was having a chat with a Sawbridgeworth property investor the other day, when he asked if schools, especially primary schools, affected the local property market in terms of demand from buyers and tenants to a property. Anecdotally, I have always known this to be true, a good school creates good demand and good demand does affect house prices.

So, I asked my colleagues on the front line, who take the phone calls from people putting themselves on our mailing list and they confirmed that most people cite location as their number one factor.

After looking through our mailing list, it confirms there is a close correlation between the high demand areas of Sawbridgeworth and the close proximity to a good primary school. Talking to my team in a recent morning meeting, they agreed many people would look to increase their budget quite significantly, whilst others would consider downgrading their property requirements to be close to a good primary school.

According to School performance tables published by the Department of Education, Mandeville Primary School is one of the best primary schools in Sawbridgeworth (CM21). Its figures are certainly impressive. Last year, 100% of 11 year old pupils achieving Level 4 or above in maths, reading and writing whilst 53% of them achieved level 5.

There is also an excellent pupil/teacher ratio of 19:1. Overall, the school achieved an Average Total Points score of 31.8 which puts it in the top 5.4% in the Education authority. Looking at recent property sales of all homes within 1km of Mandeville Primary School of the school, prices are 9.9% higher than the whole postcode district of CM21 according the Land Registry.

In terms of price change since 2005, all homes within 500m of Mandeville Primary School increased in price by 57.2% compared with the whole postcode district of CM21 average of 46.8%. That means the parents of Mandeville Primary School have seen the values of their properties rise proportionally 10.4% more than the Sawbridgeworth (CM21) average…interesting don’t you think?

However, whilst a good primary school significantly contributes more to house prices, the same can’t be said for secondary schools . There are two reasons for this, firstly, as secondary schools are much larger, so their catchment areas are correspondingly much larger, meaning parents don’t need to live so close to the school. Secondly, in the UK, whilst the difference between the top 25% and bottom 25% of secondary schools is not insignificant, in the primary school sector, the difference between the top 25% and bottom 25% is, according to the London School of Economics, is considerably and significantly more.

Many other Sawbridgeworth landlords, both who are with us and many who are with other Sawbridgeworth agents, like to pop in for a coffee or ring/email us to discuss the Sawbridgeworth property market, to consider how Sawbridgeworth compares with its closest rivals and hopefully we can answer all their questions. You must take lots of advice and seek out the best opinion.


Values have risen in CM21

Property values in the CM21 postcode have risen by 46% since 2005 whilst property values in England and Wales have only risen by 43% in the same period. That means prices of homes here have grown by 3% more the national average.

Local price bands

In the last few months, the largest number of properties which sold in the area were in the price band £100-200K, which accounted for 27% of all sales. This is followed by £200-300K (also 27%) and £300-400K (18%).


Sawbridgeworth property selling fast

Flats currently sell for £170,000 on average which is 23% higher than a decade ago. The average price of a terraced house is 29% higher than 10 years ago at £283,000. Semi-detached properties sell for around £377,000 (47% up on 10 years ago) and for detached properties the figure is £616,000 (62% higher).

Relative growth of CM21

House price growth in the area has outpaced many nearby areas. While prices in Sawbridgeworth have increased by 46% since 2005, the same figure is only 43% in Harlow (CM17) and 42% in Stevenage.