AusFinance Gazette

What does proximity to good schools do to property prices?

For some parents or soon-to-be-parents, buying a property in a good school zone is more important than any other ‘must-have’ on their list

catchment area for schools

Even trumping a coveted parking spot. Yep, some people really love their kids that much. But ensuring your children get the best education possible comes at a price, and we’re not talking about school fees.
How much? In some areas, upwards of 30%.

Known in NSW as ‘school catchment areas’, school zones are the geographical location that a public school’s core intake of students must reside. Not only do these catchment areas guarantee local students a spot at any school within the defined local enrolment zones, but they also guarantee to hike up property prices within their parameters.

Even though property prices continue to soar over much of the state, house values near good schools are often higher than the median for a given area. According to Domain’s 2020 School Zones Report, data suggests there’s a direct correlation between property price growth and in-demand school catchment areas.

Across Australia, house prices in some school catchments increased by over 30% YOY from October 2019-2020 as buyers sought out family-friendly neighbourhoods with access to high-performing primary and secondary schools. Domain’s report highlighted school zones in major cities across Australia where house prices rose the most over those twelve months.
Among the top 10 primary school zones for house price growth, two NSW schools landed on the list.

Newport Public School’s catchment zone saw a 29% growth in property values with a median price of $2M, while Avalon Public School’s catchment area saw a 26.5% rise in median house prices at $2,562,500. The top spot was taken out by Western Australia’s Como Primary School catchment, where house prices soared 35.6%.

When it came to the top ten high school zones, Epping Boys High School, Colo High School, Willoughby Girls High School and Ryde Secondary College represented NSW on the list.
The school zone surrounding Epping Boys saw 32.3% growth with a median house price of $1.56M, while Colo High saw a 31.9% increase to $600K. Willoughby Girls High School zone saw 28.6% growth ($3,115,000 median), while Ryde Secondary College followed closely behind with a 27.5% property price rise in the area—proving that for many families, education is worth a lot more than lavish amenities or water views.

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But it’s not just buyers with young families that can benefit from owning property in a good school catchment area. Not only do median house prices in high-demand zones continue to rise, signifying a higher return for investors, it’s also a safe investment opportunity as your property is likely to retain its value regardless of how the market performs. There’s also opportunity for those without kids or those disinterested in living within a particular catchment zone to score a deal on a house in a desired suburb that falls just outside an enrolment zone but still provides all the other benefits of the area. Everybody wins, except for whoever has to park the car.

catchment area for schools

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