School zones driving real estate prices isn’t a new concept however it is the high performing and much talked about public schools such as Glen Waverley Secondary, Balwyn High, Box Hill High School and McKinnon Secondary College that are forcing housing prices anywhere between 15-20% more than surrounding areas not in the catchment area. Unlike popular private school’s it is not about who you know when getting into a well ranked public school, it comes down to the location.
You may ask why home owners are willing to pay so much more for houses, just to be in these school zones. Many owners are deciding to invest their money in their family home in one of the suburbs that allows their child to attend a top performing public school instead of paying the excessive private school fees each year.
REIV states that in the year to June 30, the largest price difference was recorded for homes located within the catchment area for South Yarra Primary School. Homes within the zone had a median price of $2 million while homes within a one kilometre radius outside of the school zone had a median of $1,435,000 – a difference of $565,000.
In some suburbs it may not be beneficial financially to pay the difference in the median house price to avoid paying school fees but an example of when it is would be Balwyn High School. The median house price is $142,500 higher than outside of the zone. If your child was to attend Fintona Girls School from year’s 8 to 12 it would cost approximately $113,708 based on 2018 tuition fees. If you have two children attending the school, you have already saved yourself $84,916 by sending your children to Balwyn High.
If you are considering purchasing a property in one of these catchment zones, keep in mind it could make a big different on auction day. Private school fees will continue to rise, however purchasing in a great public school zone can be beneficial financially in the long run.