Some parents would spend up to £25,000 on a new home to get their child into a better school, research suggests.
Some parents cannot afford to move to a different catchment area
The amount parents in Britain are likely to spend amounts to £18bn, the report by ING Direct Bank says.
A survey of 2,291 people found 39% of parents questioned said they were planning to move so that the family home was in a desirable catchment area.
The average amount parents said they would spend for a house near a better school was almost £15,000 more.
However, just 12% had actually gone ahead with a move.
The survey questioned 2,291 adults in England, Wales and Scotland, of which 533 had children under the age of 15.
Parents in London said they were prepared to pay the most to move house - £25,000 on average, with those in Yorkshire saying they would pay the least.
And parents in London and the North East were most likely to want to move to try to secure a place for their child at a better school - 46% said they were planning to do so.
Across the UK, 12% of parents said they had moved house for this purpose - but 16% of Welsh parents who answered the survey said they had already moved.
Previous studies have suggested that house prices largely reflect the quality of the schools in the area.
A report by academics at the London School of Economics and Williams College, Massachusetts, concluded that children from poorer homes have difficulty accessing good schools as their parents cannot afford to move into neighbouring areas.
The government has come under pressure to ensure all children have an equal chance of getting into the best-performing schools in the wake of its plans to create "trust" schools which would have control their own admissions criteria.
Critics of the government's plans say they would create greater potential for academic selection or segregation by faith or other factors.
But the government says its plans will lead to more "good" schools, and therefore greater parental choice.