Why School Catchments Matter

by | 5 February 2020 | Blogs, Buying, Investment

By Shannon Davis, Image Property

The 2020 school year is back in the swing and for most of us that means more traffic, more drop offs, and a mad scramble every morning to make the lunch.

When it comes to property prices, though, do school catchments matter?

In essence, yes, they do, because the demand to get into certain school zones ultimately drives prices higher.

Let’s consider four ways that schools impact property prices.

  1. Catchments matter

In sought-after school zones, demand often exceeds property supply.

Consider well-regarded schools such as Brisbane State High, Mansfield State High, and Indooroopilly State High, which are the top performing academically in Brisbane.

All parents want their children to receive the best education and many simply can’t afford the fees that private schools charge.

However, many can afford to shift into the school zones of the best state schools, in which they are prepared to pay the price to do so.

  1. State schools matter more

Given state schools are publicly funded, it stands to reason that their locations help to drive property prices higher.

That’s because state schools must enroll students who live in their catchment areas.

However, with private schools, it generally doesn’t matter where the student lives or the school is located, because parents pay fees for the student to attend.

  1. Good school means good market

If a State High School performs well academically as well as has positive reviews from parents and an excellent principal, many parents will want their child to attend that school.

In locations such as the Brisbane State High School area, which generally encompasses West End and South Brisbane, the low numbers of houses on the market each year means there is strong competition for each listing.

That’s one of the main reasons why this inner-city enclave has some of the highest property prices in Brisbane.

  1. Demographics

Another factor that adds property price pressure in a location is the demographics of people who want to live there.

In Brisbane, many of the best State High Schools are located within 10 kilometers of the city.

In years gone by, the supply of houses was greater than it is today, yet it is home buyers who are trying to buy into these school catchment areas.

These home buyers are also generally aged in their 30s and 40s, in double-income households, who probably have one or two properties under belts already.

That means not only do they have a strong desire to live in specific school catchment zones, they also have the financial means to make it happen.