Although many kids won’t be concerned about whether they are heading off to a top-performing school next year, their parents might be. According to some experts, being in the catchment area for one of the top 20 government schools in a major city can increase property prices from 5-15%.1,2
Plus, rental demand and yield in the same areas can be higher than in neighbouring suburbs because families who can’t afford to buy in the area choose to rent instead.1,2
So, what does this school-zone squeeze mean for you when buying or investing in property in these sought-after areas?
Do your homework
Created by the Federal Government in 2010, the My School website lets you search for a particular suburb or school. There, you can find what percentage of that school’s students are in the top, middle and bottom levels of academic achievement compared to the Australian_average3
My School offers profiles of almost 9,500 Australian schools providing insight into what is going on inside classrooms, which contributes to a school’s overall reputation as a top school. You can quickly locate statistical and contextual information about schools in your community and compare them with statistically similar schools across the country.
Once you’ve chosen a school, area or property, finding maps of exact catchment areas can be challenging, but most can be found online or by contacting the school.4
Take the test
Just because a property is in a top school’s catchment area doesn’t mean it is necessarily a good buy. Firstly, school catchment areas and academic scores change regularly, and each can affect a property’s value.1
Secondly, according to Catherine Cashmore from Property Observer, a property needs to be suitable for a family to attract the school_premium.1
However, there is room to go to the top of the class if you study the market. Angus Raine, CEO of Raine & Horne, has found recently that “more parents are adding ‘proximity to a good school’ to their wish list of home features”.
1. Cashmore, Catherine, ‘Property in prestigious school zones always in demand
for both investors and owner-occupiers’,
propertyobserver.com.au, 11 October 2011.
2. Farrelly, Kate, ‘Zone in on education’, news.domain.com, 15 June_2013.
3. MySchool, myschool.edu.au, as at 11 October 2013.
4. Paech, Venessa, ‘School wishlists driving Sydney demand’,
realestate.com.au, 18 December 2012