What a catchment: School zones give house prices a huge lift

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Melbourne’s most sought after public secondary schools are boosting some house prices in the Victorian capital by hundreds of thousands of dollars according to figures from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV).

According to the REIV’s statistics, houses with two or more bedrooms that are located within the catchment areas of certain secondary schools are valued significantly higher than similar houses outside the catchment areas, even if they happened to be just a stone’s throw away from each other.

According to the REIV’s figures, the catchment zone for University High in the inner north suburb of Parkville added close to $600,000 to the median price of a house with two bedrooms or more.

The REIV’s figures show the median price for a house with two bedrooms or more that is located within the catchment zone was $1,395,000 while homes within a one kilometre radius of the school zone had a median of $799,000 - a difference of $596,000.

In the inner city suburb of McKinnon, the catchment zone for McKinnon Secondary College pushed the median house price to $1.5m, compared to $1,195,000 for houses within one kilometre of the zone.

In Melbourne’s south, the catchment zone for Cheltenham Secondary College helped the median house price up to $1.1m, compared to $950,000 for a house within one kilometre of the zone.
  Bordering Zone Median In Zone Median Price Difference
University High School $799,000 $1,395,000 $596,000
McKinnon Secondary College $1,195,000 $1,500,000 $305,000
Cheltenham Secondary College $950,000 $1,100,000 $150,000
Frankston High School $462,000 $576,000 $114,000
Box Hill High School $1,099,000 $1,189,800 $90,800
Mount Waverley Secondary College $1,200,000 $1,267,000 $67,000
Balwyn High School $1,947,500 $2,012,000 $64,500

Geoff White, chief executive officer of the REIV said the differences in price between houses that are and aren’t in the catchment zones shows just how much strong amenities can benefit buyers.

“Rather than paying private school fees, parents of school-aged children are increasingly investing that money in the family home and buying into areas zoned for top performing public schools,” White said.

“These areas also experience a high number of sales indicating the level of buyer demand within these zones,” he said.

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