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Property values surge over 40% in certain school catchments

4 min read
28 Sep 2021
school zone

Popular schools are helping drive record property price gains as parents jostle to get into certain catchments, new figures show.

According to Domain’s latest School Zones Report for 2021, properties in the Barrenjoey High School catchment in NSW sold for more than $2.8 million, a 45% premium on sales in 2020.1

That was the highest growth among secondary school catchment zones; Burraneer Bay Public School, also in NSW, recorded a 44.8% growth in 2021, with a median sale price of $2.1 million.

With every school zone in the top 10 for both primary and secondary schools recording annual growth above 30%, that’s nearly double the national average.

Why? Because good schools are a crucial factor for parents deciding where to buy a home.

“We know that well-performing public schools certainly have an effect on an area’s price growth,” Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said.3

“Private school fees have increased quite significantly, so, if people are priced out of those, they’ll look for good public schools.”

Every public school keeps enough spots for students in the catchment area to enrol, and it means that one house within this catchment zone can fetch a much higher asking price than a school elsewhere in the same suburb.

It also means that those without children can potentially snag a bargain by looking for properties outside registered catchment zones.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) in 2020 found that simply being located within school catchments can add up to $425,000 to median house prices when compared to houses outside of one.4

Top 10 primary schools catchments by property growth

School nameStateMedian price Growth (YoY
1Burraneer Bay Public SchoolNSW$2,100,000+44.8%
2Newport Public SchoolNSW$2,675,000+43.0%
3West End State SchoolQLD$1,325,000+41.7%
4Woy Woy Public SchoolNSW$870,000+41.5%
5Richmond Primary SchoolVIC$1,842,500+39.6%
6Kimberley Park State SchoolQLD$620,000+38.2%
7Kellyville Ridge Public SchoolNSW$1,377,500+37.8%
8Harbord Public SchoolNSW$3,050,000+37.6%
9Kincumber Public SchoolNSW$912,500+36.9%
10Heidelberg Primary SchoolVIC$1,510,000+36.7%

Source: Domain. Compares the median sale price from August 2020 – July 2021 to the median sale price from August 2019 – July 2020.

Top 10 secondary schools catchments by property growth

School nameStateMedian price Growth (YoY)
1Barrenjoey High SchoolNSW$2,802,500+45.0%
2Eastern Hills Senior High SchoolWA$602,500+41.8%
3Cronulla High SchoolNSW$2,030,000+40.0%
4Kiara CollegeWA$417,500+39.2%
5Kogarah High SchoolNSW$1,300,000+38.4%
6Kincumber High SchoolNSW$1,175,000+38.2%
7Woolooware High SchoolNSW$1,610,000+34.2%
8Mosman High SchoolNSW$4,000,000+33.3%
9Diamond Valley CollegeVIC$990,000+33.2%
10Bayview Secondary CollegeTAS$447,500+32.6%

Source: Domain. Compares the median sale price from August 2020 – July 2021 to the median sale price from August 2019 – July 2020.

Which Sydney school catchments saw the best price growth?

As the tables above show, Sydney schools dominate the list for both primary and secondary school zone growth.

House prices in Sydney grew in 89% of primary and 95% of secondary school zones annually.

RankTop primary schoolsTop secondary schools
1.Burraneer Bay Public School (+44.8%)Barrenjoey High School (+45%)
2.Newport Public School (+43%)Cronulla High School (+40%)
3.Woy Woy Public School (+41.5%)Kogarah High School (+38.4%)
4.Kellyville Ridge Public School (+37.8%)Kincumber High School (+38.2%)
5.Harbord Public School (+37.6%)Woolooware High School (+34.2%)

Source: Domain.

Which Melbourne school catchments saw the best price growth?

House prices also rose across most school zones in Melbourne, up in 83% of primary and 89% of secondary catchments.

According to Domain, roughly one-in-ten school zones had 10-20% additional house price growth over the suburb’s growth, showing just how much of an impact a good school can have.

Not seen in last year’s report was a number of ‘lifestyle’ locations like the Mornington Peninsula, which is down to the increased flexibility people now have when working at home.

RankTop primary schoolsTop secondary schools
1.Richmond Primary School (+39.6%)Diamond Valley College (+33.2%)
2.Heidelberg Primary School (+36.7%)St Helena Secondary College (25.5%)
3.Valkstone Primary School (+35.4%)Edgars Creek Secondary College (25.3%)
4.Glen Waverley Primary School (+33%)Werribee Secondary College (24.9%)
5.Surrey Hills Primary School (+29.9%)Mount Erin Secondary College (+23%)

Source: Domain.

Which Brisbane school catchments saw the best price growth?

Property prices in Brisbane were up in 92% of both primary and secondary school catchments, with interstate movers contributing to these increases.

In Brisbane, it was affordable outer locations that dominated the list of fastest-growing school zones, and roughly 15% had 10-20% additional house price growth over the rest of the suburb.

RankTop primary schoolsTop secondary schools
1.West End State School (+41.7%)Flagstone State Community College (+31.5%)
2.Kimberley Park State School (+38.2%)Springfield Central State High School (+30.2%)
3.Shailer Park State School (+35%)Marsden State High School (+28.8%)
4.Cleveland State School (+34.4%)Brisbane State High School (+28.2%)
5.Camira State School (+34.2%)Bellbird Park State Secondary College (+23.9%)

Source: Domain.


Sources

Image via Shutterstock

  1. Domain, 23 September 2021. ‘2021 School Zones Report.’
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 14 September 2021. Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities.
  3. Domain, ‘What are school catchment areas and how do they affect property prices?’.
  4. Real Estate Institute of Victoria, 28 February 2020. ‘Premium school zones’ impact on residential property prices’.
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avatar of author: William Jolly

Written by William Jolly

William is a Senior Finance Writer at Compare the Market, and has previously worked as a finance journalist for several years. He specialises in writing about financial products like home loans in ways that the average Australian can understand and enjoy. When he's not writing about saving money, William enjoys playing football (soccer), watching a good movie and spending time with his dog.

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