Let’s talk about a great Australian pastime that doesn’t involve a beach, BBQ or ball sport. It’s the School Zone Scramble, the perennial game of musical chairs where parents try to snag a spot in the catchment area of a top-notch school. In Perth, it’s a strategic move that can play a part in your property’s future value.

1. The Magical Pull of Top Schools

Imagine a school so popular that its very existence elevates local property prices. It’s not sleight of hand; it’s the undeniable allure of a top-ranked educational institution. Parents eager for their kids to receive the best start in life are drawn to these academic sanctuaries (or, some might say, factories!). And they’re prepared to pay more to live within walking distance, or in the intake area, of their preferred school or college.

2. The Numbers Tell a Story

While finding specific data for Perth is difficult, Domain’s annual school zones report shows a positive correlation between property price growth and in-demand public school catchment areas.

“Many buyers are willing to pay a premium to ensure their children attend highly sought-after schools,” according to Domain’s chief of research and economics, Nicola Powell.

“There will always be a high demand for housing in particular school catchment zones, and this can play a major part in house price movement.”

It also means areas with high-demand public schools can be more resilient in a market downturn.

A December 2023 article in WA Today found that the Mount Lawley Senior High School catchment was the second most searched for properties in WA in 2023, with Rossmoyne SHS coming in at number 1.

3. A Ripple Effect on the Community

It’s not all about property prices, though. When a school is popular, it’s like dropping a pebble in a pond – the ripples are felt throughout the community. Local cafes, shops, and services get a boost as the area becomes more sought-after, attracts new investment, and residents settle in for the long term. It’s a win-win for small businesses and your morning coffee run!

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4. The Catch-22

Here’s the twist: As prices rise, the dream of living in these zones can feel as elusive as winning the lottery. It’s a catch-22 where the very thing that attracts people – free(ish) public schools – also makes it harder to access. It’s like having an invitation to a fabulous party on a private island that you discover you can’t quite afford to get to.

5. Navigating the Scramble

So, what’s a savvy house hunter to do? Here’s where we, at Red Fox Property Group, come in. We understand the dance of the school zone scramble and can help you navigate this tricky terrain. Sometimes, it’s a compromise between a school zone and the size of the house or block you buy. Sometimes, it’s targeting the cheaper areas within a popular school catchment, for example, the parts of Maylands that fall into the Mount Lawley Senior High School zone, or Bedford if you’re chasing Inglewood Primary.

6. The Bottom Line

While the conversation topic of where to send your kids to school in Perth is as pervasive as that of the North/South divide, (unless of course, all your friends live on the same side…), a home is more than its proximity to a school. It’s about community, comfort, and finding that special place where your family can thrive.

So, whether you’re chasing that school zone dream or looking for the hidden gems just outside it, we’ve got you covered.

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Wanting advice about your own specific home and circumstances? Call me now on 0405 812 273 – we’re here to help.

Red Fox Property Group are ratemyagent real estate Agent of the Year award winners in Mount Lawley, Inglewood and Bedford. We specialise in the suburbs surrounding Beaufort Street and beyond.