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School zone changes driving up house demand

Following the recent announcement that a number of popular public Auckland high schools are proposing to stop out of zone applications, REINZ anticipates that these changes could further drive up house prices in already expensive areas.

School zoning is already something that parents of school aged children take into significant consideration when looking to purchase a property, with many looking to move specifically into a set school zone in order to get their children into a preferred school.

This move is likely to see even focus on school zones that there already is in Auckland.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “As Auckland continues to experience unprecedented population growth, we understand that ending out of zone applications may be a necessity given the growth schools are facing. However, given the upwards pressure on prices of buying in a popular school zone, our concern is that this will place even more pressure on some of those areas, further adding to unaffordability issues for people to send their children to some of these popular schools.

“There is usually a premium for schools in so called ‘good’ school zones and this is evidenced when sales comparisons are made between different areas. For example, the Auckland region median price for the three months ending March 2018 increased by 21.4% over the past three years. Comparatively, looking at top school zones over the same period the median growth rates were as follows:

  • Auckland Grammar 11.7%
  • Mount Albert Grammar School 23.7%
  • Rangitoto College 35.2%
  • Westlake Boys 12.6%
  • Glendowie College 28.3%
  • Western Springs College 30.2%
  • Macleans College 10.9%.

“These figures show just how popular some of these school zones are - especially those that have a good proximity to the Auckland CBD and are close to transport links/infrastructure. Considerations of Auckland’s traffic has become of increasing importance and many buyers would rather pay a premium for location to save time on travel to the city. They’re also prepared to sacrifice views for a quicker commute time,” concludes Norwell.

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