Friday, 14 November 2014


The Age today has a story about real estate prices increases for property in the catchment areas of 'sought after' schools. 
That is certainly the case here in Ballarat where Ballarat High School won't accept students out of their zone. At a recent School Council meeting we were told that they are receiving an unprecedented number of inquiries from all year levels for students eager to enrol. The reasons being that school fees in private schools are too high, Ballarat High offer a fantastic range of subjects that other schools don't and of course some private schools 'cull' students in year 11-12 if they are in danger of failing, don't meet 'the grade' or will bring the schools VCE average down.
Ballarat High are taking more students but can't take an unlimited number of students who would come. People will buy property specifically in the Ballarat zone or lie about where they live to get in.I don't know whether there is any impact on house prices near certain primary schools in Ballarat but there seems to be in Melbourne.
My sister and I found out about the value of real estate near popular schools when we sold our old family home 10 years ago. it sold within hours because it was in the Frankston High School zone.
Below is an extract from the Age story:

It's a well-known fact that buying in the catchment of a top performing government secondary school can push house prices through the roof.

But what was once a phenomenon of coveted secondary schools might now be flowing onto primary schools, with parents beginning to pay a premium to be in certain primary school zones.

"It's drifted down," explains Arch Staver, sales director at Nelson Alexander. "It was always about high school, is it in the university high zone?

"People are getting an early start. The My School website is beginning to have some impact."

He says in his area, parents are particularly keen to get their children into Clifton Hill Primary School on Gold Street. "Gold Street is one of the most coveted schools in the inner city. It's always been my experience that bidders are more enthusiastic in the Gold Street zone."

He adds that, "we do find more and more tertiary-educated people who become parents like to have an active involvement in the primary school".

Di Henderson, business manager at Clifton Hill Primary, confirmed the school currently only takes students where they are the closest school. She adds that for the past two or three years, people have been moving into the area for the school.

Across town in Boroondara, a number of primary schools are affecting house prices, according to David Gillham, director at Noel Jones. He cites specifically Auburn South, Camberwell South, Hartwell and Camberwell Primary schools, the latter of which offers a French immersion program. "People will pay extra to get into the zone," says Mr Gillham.

Lydia Joyes moved with her husband Rob and three children into the Auburn South primary zone in June 2013 just before her oldest Angus started prep. She liked the general area. Being in the catchment of Auburn South was a bonus. "I think it does impact house prices," she said. "You do pay a premium." She adds that prices in some parts of the zone are "out of control". "I don't know if it's the park or the school or the combination," she says, adding that, "If you were looking at a school like Auburn South compared to private school fees, maybe it's worth investing in real estate."

Also having an impact on house prices are Hampton and Black Rock primaries, says Kate Smith, of Hocking Stuart in Sandringham. "People definitely want to be in zone. It's supply and demand so obviously it will affect prices. It's not the only reason but it's definitely a contributing factor."

Andrew Wilson, senior economist at the Domain Group, is more cautious about the general impact of primary schools on house prices. He notes there are some niche schools like Camberwell Primary. "But I am not sure it creates the same sort of energy as a Balwyn High," he says. He adds that people are choosing to move into certain primary school zones which then feed into high performing government secondary schools. "People start to decide on secondary school at primary school level," he explains. "They decide to get into the area early."


Preparations are underway for an Ironman competition 'taking over' Ballarat tomorrow. ( I hope they don't expect people to swim in the lake....?)

Art task for next week
It was an early and busy Saturday morning today getting sorted for next week. I'm reading The Riddle of the Sands as a serial next week and decided to do an art task based on the cover art for the Puffin edition of the book.
Below are some step by step photos of a wax crayon and watercolour art activity that we will have a good at next week.

Original image

Also an interesting story about little 131 year old Meerlieu Primary School.( Meerlieu sits between Sale and Bairnsdale near Lake Wellington)
I'll have to give teaching principal Debbie Nicholls a call and reassure her and her community that small schools are great schools.( However being small and isolated is different to being small and close to a city like Ballarat)

Read more:

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