Couples are lining up to buy property in Brisbane’s most sought after school catchment zones — and that’s before they have even had a child.
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So desperate to secure a spot at one of the city’s top performing schools, they are willing to fork out big money for a house to ensure their offspring don’t miss out.
Place Kangaroo Point agent Deb Maguire said many buyers were weighing up the costs of private school fees versus a mortgage in well performing school catchment zones.
“If you look at a young couple taking on a mortgage, if they’re looking at putting their children into state primary school and then the high school, you’ve got the standard fees per year about $110 or so per year, per child,” Ms Maguire said.
“Conversely if they put their children into private school, they can be looking at $25,000 to $30,000 per child per year.
“If you compare that to taking out a mortgage and living in the area — easily couples can see going to well ahead over all the years of their children schooling.”
Ray White New Farm principal and auctioneer Haesley Cush said he provided counsel to a buyer last year who thought they had purchased a property within the West End State School catchment zone.
“It was advertised that it was in that zone and it turned out that it wasn’t — it was just an error,” Mr Cush said.
“He said they actually don’t want the property because it’s not in the precinct and that was the reason they bought it.
“They were living there and they found out, and it was the early stages of their life, it wasn’t that they were putting the kids in the following year.”
He said they later sold the property but were “bitterly disappointed” by their experience.
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Mr Cush said for real estate agents selling property within the Ascot State School catchment, it was a “mortal sin” not to advertise the fact.
“If you’re buying at the beach, it’s water views, if you’re buying in a precincts around Brisbane it’s city views,” he said.
“If you’re buying in Ascot, you want that Ascot State School precinct and it can be brutal when it comes to a street and you’re on the wrong side of that deal.”
Ms Maguire’s listing at 155 Dornoch Tce, Highgate Hill, is one of 19 homes for sale in Highgate Hill, which is within the catchment zone for West End Primary and Brisbane State High.
She said more than half the inspections had been from families looking to buy into the catchment zone.
“They are future proofing the education for their children,” she said.
According to data released by Place Advisory, West End, which is within the same catchment zone, recorded a 7.8 per cent growth, compared to Brisbane’s average of 5.8 per cent in the six months to September 2018.
When owner Paul Lynch purchased the home in 2007, he said they were more concerned with being within a $5 cab ride of Brisbane’s CBD.
That being said, they are only moving down the road, opting for the low maintenance lifestyle that will come with a four bedroom apartment in West End and will keep them in the school catchment.
“We actually put a circle around the city and said this is where we can get to for $5, let’s look in this area and Wooloongabba and West End were in that catchment,” Mr Lynch said.
“Whereas now, people are moving into West End, Highgate Hill, Dutton Park because of the quality of schools is high and the cost of private school education is going through the roof.
“I know it is, because I’ve got one there – it’s now getting close to $30,000 a year.”
“Xavier is 13, and in year nine and Nicholas is in year 12.
“The boys went to West End Primary, as well as that and well to St Ita’s over at Dutton Park and Xavier is at Boys Grammar and Nicholas is at Brisbane State High.”
“I said to Nicholas and Xavier, arguably you both go to the best school in Brisbane.
“Everybody argues that Grammar is the best school and everybody argues State High is the best school, so you both go to the best school in Brisbane.
“I guess that’s the reason why people desperately want to get into this area.”
In East Brisbane, which according to a Place Advisory report, has seen the highest capital growth over the past six months, recorded at 11.9 per cent growth compared to the average among Brisbane suburbs if 5.8 per cent in the six months to September 2018.
Ray White East Brisbane agent Madi Roche said most of her clients were more drawn to the proximity to private schools like Churchie than the state school.
“I sold one at the end of last year, 103 Mowbray Tce, East Brisbane, and that was a very unique house, a very big block and a great family home.
“The people who ended up buying … stumbled across this one and it was purely for convenience.
“They wanted to be in East Brisbane because of Churchie, which is a private school and you don’t need to be in the catchment, but they had two boys and they wanted to be close to Churchie, and the girl, whichever school she will go to either Sommerville or St Margaret’s, whichever it may be, again proximity to that.”
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Ms Roche said that buyers in the West End, Dutton Park and Highgate Hill area are all after catchment.
“That’s a massive driving force of that market place,” she said.