ACCESS to quality public secondary education has become an increasingly crucial decision-making factor among househunters, experts say, with buyers paying top dollar to secure a spot in one of SA’s top high school zones.
Real Estate Institute of South Australia chief executive officer Greg Troughton said a property’s high school zoning was a determining factor for many househunters.
“For some people it’s the only decision they’re making in order to get their kids the education they want,” Mr Troughton said.
“In the past five years, particularly with new schools being built, this is almost becoming a preoccupation for parents. People are prepared to pay more for those houses within a school boundary because they want the comfort of knowing their child will get into that particular school.”
While many schools accept students who live outside their designated zones, Mr Troughton said, as suburban infill increases and educational institutions reach capacity, schools may begin enforcing these boundaries, making properties within their intake area even more sought after.
“It will probably be in the next couple of years when they will stop accepting people from outside these boundaries and will then start using them as the definitive factor when deciding whether to accept someone’s enrolment,” he said.
The Advertiser has analysed CoreLogic’s median house and unit prices of suburbs which have a portion of their houses in some of our most popular school zones to show you the most affordable ways to buy into them.
If you’re trying to get into Adelaide’s newest school, Adelaide Botanic High School, Richmond has the zone’s most affordable houses at $492,000, while the catchment’s cheapest units can be found in the CBD for $412,500. In Adelaide’s east, the most affordable houses in the Norwood Morialta High School zone are found in Woodforde, with a median of $299,950, while the catchment’s cheapest units are in St Peters at $296,500.
Wingfield has the northern Roma Mitchell Secondary College zone’s cheapest houses at $327,500, while buyers gunning for a spot in the west’s Brighton Secondary School should look in Warradale, which has the zone’s cheapest houses and units at $577,500 and $354,000 respectively. The cheapest houses in the Hills’ Heathfield High School zone are in Stirling, at $726,250.
Harris Real Estate managing director Phil Harris said demand for high school zones was driven by strong academic performance and increasing cost of living pressures.
“Unquestionably you see people target school zones and the typical ones that come into play are Glenunga International and Brighton Secondary,” Mr Harris said.
“With the high costs of private school education – people want to give their kids the best opportunities and a strong public school education is an important part of that.”
“Property prices are driven by competition, so when you get multiple parties competing for that specific reason – schooling – that creates the perfect environment for higher prices to be achieved.”
Renovator sells $30,000 above price guide
Is Port Augusta set for a property surge?
Buyers flock to southern flip job
Mr Harris said rental demand within popular high school zones was always high, and that houses within desirable school zones were seen as solid investments.
“We’ve seen examples where people have bought an investment property in an area, and relocated there for the specific time frame that their kids are of that school age,” he said.
Samantha and Joel Launer have recently bought a North Brighton home so their four children can one day attend Brighton Secondary School.
“Schooling was a huge factor – we’ve got four kids and next year our eldest starts at high school,” Mrs Launer said.
“We think it will work well for our family because Brighton Secondary seems to have a really good name and offers lots of subject options, and we think it will fit all the kids and not just one.”
Looking for an affordable entry point into SA’s most sought after school zones? Check out the bargain options in these popular public high school zones.