Buying a property based on it being in a school zone can have a huge impact on property prices.

It’s not uncommon for families to pay up to an extra six figures in the most sought-after school zones to ensure their children can go to a highly-rated government school.

And whilst all parents want their children to go to a good primary or secondary school, it’s when planning for the secondary years the battle for school zone really begins. And the mere mention of some schools will have everyone wishing you luck to get into the zone.

What are some of the more popular secondary schools?

Some examples of well-regarded government secondary schools that have driven up local property prices include:

  • Glen Waverley Secondary College
  • Mount Waverley Secondary College
  • Balwyn High School
  • McKinnon Secondary College
  • Doncaster East Secondary College

The suburbs where these schools reside all have a median house price of over $1.5 million, with Balwyn’s median house price the highest at $2.9 million. These are all substantially higher that the Melbourne median house price which is under $1 million.

Let’s take a closer look at one school for the impact on property prices and zoning.

Glen Waverley due to its excellent academic results has been a popular choice for families for a long time. In fact, as demand has increased the school zone has shrunk over the years. Glen Waverley is also a good example that buying a property in the suburb with the same name doesn’t guarantee you are in the zone. A school zone may be across more than one suburb and not a whole suburb!

Glen Waverley School Zone (Source Find My School Nov 2023)

If we look at the suburb Glen Waverley, where the majority of the school zone is located you can see the impact on property prices. The suburb Glen Waverley has the highest house median price at $1.7 million compared to its neighbouring or adjoining suburbs. The suburb with the next highest median price is Mount Waverley which also has an excellent and highly regarded public secondary college. These suburbs do have excellent amenities and public transport options as well, which contribute to their higher price tag.

Median House Prices around Glen Waverley (Nov 2023)

How to find out if a property is in a school zone?

There are multiple ways to find out if a property is in a school zone or what a school zone is.

The major real estate portals, like Domain and realestate.com, will show nearby schools in property listings. In fact, on Domain you can search for listings by school zone. However, do not rely on this information alone.

Another excellent resource is Find My School which is run by the Department of Education. You can check what zone a property is in for the current and next year, and also search for a school zone in general.

However, for the best and most detailed information on zoning and enrolment criteria, it is best to go to the school’s website or contact the enrolment office.

Where and what to buy in a school zone

There is a sweet spot when it comes to prime locations in a school zone.

Being able to walk safely, without crossing major roads or easy public transport locations is highly desired. However, there is such a thing as too close where you get a big rush of traffic in the mornings and afternoons. And getting in and out of your driveway can be a nightmare during those times.

Not everyone vying to get into these popular suburbs can afford the perfect location or even property. Some families have to sacrifice on the home’s size or condition to get into the right zone. We would recommend pursuing size over condition, as it is cheaper to update than extend a home later on.

What if I am sending my child to a private school or select entry school?

Private or Select Entry schools don’t care where you live, however, it is a good idea to be aware of local school zones. Buying just outside of the most sought-after public catchment area near your desired private school could cut the purchase price considerably.

And if you were lucky the zone could increase in size, and that could might be a big bonus for you!

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