School recruitment zones create a median premium on the price of real estate



New Domain research found that many school recruiting areas continued to add significant bonuses to already rising house prices across Australia.

Annual house prices in 88 percent of primary school serving areas and 94 percent of secondary school districts have increased.

A school catchment area is defined as the geographic location where the core of a public school’s students are to live.

The field’s head of research and economics, Dr Nicola Powell, explained that school recruiting zones are often more expensive than the larger suburb in which they are located.

“It is amazing that starting from a high base of house prices, some school enrollment areas reach 10-20% more than the suburbs they are in,” said Dr Powell.

“It shows Australians are willing to pay for easy access to public schools.”

The top 10 primary and secondary school catchment areas saw house price growth of over 38% year-on-year, up from 29% in 2020.

In 46% of primary and secondary school catchment areas, price growth has overtaken the suburbs in which they are located.

About one in 10 school catchment areas is 10-20% higher than the average for the suburb in which it is located.

“We know that as part of the ownership decision process, parents and investors consider the geographic location of a potential property in relation to a school catchment area,” said Dr Powell.

“When people are looking for a home, they are looking for a lifestyle, and education is a big part of that image, whether in the inner city suburbs or the coastal areas of Australia. “

School attendance rate in relation to median housing prices in the larger suburbs in the capital cities

The highest growth rates in school enrollment areas in capital cities ranged from 38 to 46 percent, spread across inner, middle, and outer suburbs. Many of these major catchment areas were in lifestyle locations.

“Due to a lifestyle change such as flexible working and the continued impacts of Covid, people are spending more time at home and want properties that have easy access to beaches and parks,†said Dr Powell.

“The growth in house prices is evident in school catchment areas close to natural environments, making them ideal for families. “

Secondary schools in Sydney and Melbourne had a bigger impact on house prices than primary schools. This contrasts with 2020, when primary school zones were a bigger driver of price growth.

Melbourne and Sydney also took the top two spots for the highest price growth in the school zone, which was previously owned by Perth. Dr Powell suggested this reflects a stronger real estate market in 2021 for those states.


Kunyung Primary School in Mount Eliza, Melbourne, took the top spot for primary school price growth (45.7 percent). In 2020, the median home price was $ 1.3 million, while in 2021, the median home price was $ 1.9 million.

Neighboring Mount Eliza North Elementary School came in third place for annual house price growth, with an annual change of 37.5%.

“Public school zones can influence ownership decisions and impact the movement of house prices. Secondary school areas in Melbourne appear to have a slightly larger impact than primary school areas, â€noted Dr Powell.

This trend has reversed compared to last year. Dr Powell suggested people in Melbourne face financial hurdles when looking to invest in particular school areas, especially amid escalating house prices.


Sydney’s Barrenjoey High School in Avalon Beach was the first high school for watershed price growth (45 percent). In 2020, the median school zone price was $ 1.9 million, and it has risen to $ 2.8 million in 2021.

“Sydney secondary school catchment areas had a greater influence on house prices than primary school catchment areas, a reverse trend from last year,” said Dr Powell.

She suggested that this could indicate that private tuition fees are straining household budgets amid “escalating house prices, weak wage growth and economic uncertainty”.


Hobart had the highest percentage of primary school catchment areas to outperform the suburb they were in (58 percent). In comparison, its percentage for high school catchment areas was only 38%.

Brighton Primary School catchment area has seen an annual change of 35%. The Brighton suburb saw an annual change of 17.3 percent.

The school zone’s median price in 2021 was $ 405,000, up from $ 300,000 in 2020.

Bayview Secondary College in Rokeby saw an annual change in school area of ​​32.6%, while the suburb of Rokeby only experienced an annual change of 22.9%.

“Hobart has seen a spike in house prices in recent years,†said Dr Powell.

“Unsurprisingly, all primary and secondary school admission areas analyzed show positive annual housing price growth.


Meanwhile, Brisbane had the highest percentage of high school catchment areas to outperform the suburb they were in (56%). The Queensland capital also saw 54% of primary school catchment areas overtake the suburbs they were in.

West End State School, located in Brisbane’s inner city circle, has seen house price growth of 41.7% annually. This has been compared to an overall change of 19.5 percent in the wider West End suburb.

The median price of homes in this school basin in 2021 was $ 1.3 million, up from $ 935,000 in 2020.

“School recruiting zones are paramount for parents when it comes to purchasing a family home,†Dr. Powell said.

“In Brisbane, secondary school catchment areas appear to have a more positive impact on house price growth, as more of them overtake the suburbs in which they are located.”

Schools in the outer suburbs of Shailer Park, Kilcoy and Cleveland made up the remainder of the top five positions.

“While the main school pools were dotted around Greater Brisbane and in a variety of different price points, affordable outdoor locations dominated the list,” commented Dr Powell.


Allenby Gardens Elementary School in Adelaide has experienced 32.8% annual growth in the school’s watershed. In comparison, the larger suburb of Allenby Gardens saw only an 11.3% change.

The median price of homes in the school basin rose to $ 660,000 in 2021, from $ 497,000 in 2020.

At the time of writing, there were only four properties for sale in the school zone.

“School recruiting zones can have a positive impact on housing prices and it starts with the choice of primary education for families in Adelaide,†said Dr Powell.

“Some school recruiting zones in the same suburb or zip code have varied in the pace of price changes, highlighting the effect that particular school recruiting zones can have on real estate prices.”


Eastern Hills High School in Mount Helena saw annual house price growth of 41.9% in the school catchment area. There were 149 properties for sale in the school zone at the time of the report’s release.

In 2021, the median price of homes in the school zone was $ 602,500, while 2020 had a median price of $ 425,000.

Mount Helena experienced an annual change of 14.4 percent at the suburban scale.

“We have seen in Perth, the growth in house prices varied considerably with the admission areas of nearby local schools providing mixed results for homeowners,” said Dr Powell.

“Some school admission areas in the same zip code or the same suburb varied in the pace or direction of price movement.”

Perth’s top five most expensive suburb was Dalkeith.

In the Dalkeith Primary School service area, the median school zone price in 2021 was $ 2.56 million. In 2020, the median price of homes in the school basin was $ 1.93 million. This is an annual variation of 32.8%.


Mawson Elementary School was Canberra’s priority enrollment area with the highest annual growth in house prices.

In 2021, the median school zone price was $ 1.07 million, up from $ 800,000 in 2020, which represents an annual change of 33.8%.

However, the wider suburb of Mawson also saw an annual change of 30.8 percent.

“There were nine priority enrollment areas in primary and two secondary schools that outpaced suburban price growth, with Belconnen and Tuggeranong weighing heavily in this list, two districts known to offer affordable homes,†the said. Dr Powell.

“Families vying for some schools will find that house prices have risen faster than the suburbs they are in, suggesting the positive influence of enrollment zones on housing price growth. ”


The Millner Primary School Priority Enrollment Area recorded the highest annual average house price growth, at 34.6 percent. In 2021, the school zone’s median price was $ 530,000, up from $ 393,750 the year before.

The wider suburb of Millner saw an annual change of 17.4 percent.

“House prices in Darwin have rebounded strongly, reaching their highest level in four years,” said Dr Powell.

“This includes outstanding performance in priority school enrollment areas, with 88% of primary and secondary priority enrollment areas analyzed seeing house prices rising over the past year. “



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