Choosing a School Zone

by Urbane Property

How important is your local school when it comes to buying a home? It’s certainly plays a big part in our commitment to empowering new futures! And with a new high school on the horizon, speculation about the latest areas of growth is reaching fever pitch.

Price growth in the catchment zones for the top ranked and up-and-coming public schools routinely experiences better than average growth, and competition for homes is notoriously stiff.

Basically as soon as your kids are born (sometimes before), parents start thinking about primary schools, and as soon as they’re settled in there, it’s on to the great question of where they’ll go come Year 7. In the inner west, the list includes Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, Alexandria Park, Tempe High School, Marrickville High School and Sydney Secondary College in Leichhardt among others. And one street can make all the difference.

For many people, school zones are a really important part of the purchasing process. Some buyers specifically want to buy in an area near a school that’s performing well or has a good reputation. In the inner west, our schools are bursting at the seams so there’s no chance of getting in if you’re out of area.

Newtown Performing Arts High School is top of the list for many but it has a tiny catchment, so the right location can have a big impact on the number of potential buyers and the price of a home.

Sally Souter and her husband Will moved into Newtown with their three young children in 2007. “A big part of our decision to buy a house in our street was Australia Street Infants,” says Sally. “It needed a lot of work but it was in the right place. The catchment for Newtown High [School of Performing Arts] is pretty small and we know several families who have moved into the area specifically so their kids can go there.”

A word of warning though: the Department of Education does change school catchment areas from time to time, often to make them smaller as the school age population grows and even the best laid plans can go awry. Not only are homeowners left with a school they didn’t choose, it can adversely affect value of their homes.

The new Inner Sydney High School, currently under construction on the corner of Cleveland and Chalmers Streets in nearby Surry Hills, is on track for its proposed opening in time for the 2020 intake. It’s something that parents of primary school kids in nearby parts of the inner west are keeping a close eye on. Says the DoE: “It is anticipated that publication of the catchment will be late 2018, as it needs to be based on the most up to date demographic data. Information about the number of school-age children living in the local area is crucial in determining the catchment.”

They won’t elaborate further but it has to be assumed that parts of Erskineville, Camperdown, Darlington and beyond will be affected. Once the school is open, demand in its catchment will grow. As a result, we’ll see property in those areas increasing in value.

 

Pondering the great school debate in the inner west? Our property experts have kids too! Drop in to Urbane’s King Street office, or contact us today.

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