This last weekend saw yet another scurry of buyers attempting to secure a newly listed house that’s close to a well-respected public school. This inner-south family home is walking distance to a local state primary school that’s recognised for its quality of education, and the house sold at its first open. Public schools have a catchment area across surrounding suburbs so your choice of address affects your choice of free education options. And in a trend that seems to be gaining momentum, homes close to “better” public schools are achieving premium prices.
Brisbane State High School has long been sought-after and local real estate ads regularly quote “BSHS catchment”, sometimes listed ahead of other features like pools! With the cost of private schools often over $10,000 per year it’s no surprise parents are looking at their options.
So how much will a doting mum and dad pay in extra house price to secure their kids a great education? One study from an Australian National University economist says the answer’s $13,000, in Canberra at least. Assessing house prices in proximity of that city’s public schools they found a 5 point increase in the year 12 scores would show a 3.5% higher house price. They also found 10 studies from the UK and USA that support this measure so the relationship is not unique to Australia.
So across many inner Brisbane suburbs this 3.5% would represent closer to $20,000 and higher again if you only consider homes large enough to house a family. Many of our inner city schools have forged strong followings amongst the mums and dads and Ironside State School at St Lucia is one of them. We once managed a property on Swann Road where a family rented a 3 bedroom apartment just to be inside a line on Ironside’s map. And in the more than 18 months they “lived” there we never saw them.
Of course if you don’t live in your favourite school’s catchment area you can still wait-list Johnnie and Mary’s names on the enrolment list. But you’d better buy plenty of fudge at the school fete if you’re going to get them bumped up ahead of the locals!