Government school zones or catchment areas are a restriction placed on the number of students a particular school can take based on a geographical boundary around the school. These zones require that a student’s permanent residential address be within a specific neighbourhood to be eligible for a place.
Due to top Melbourne government schools (such as Melbourne Girls College and Balwyn High) being in such high demand, most schools require parents to provide bills and lease agreements as proof of their residency within the catchment area to enrol their child. Some schools have even been rumoured to hire private investigators because of cases of address fraud by desperate parents.
As a result of these highly sought after strict catchment areas, properties within Melbourne's top public school zones are fetching premium prices in comparison to real estate located just outside the zone.
Research by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has revealed that homes located in the 'right' public school zones can increase their value by almost $600k, when compared to prices in neighbouring suburbs.
Geoff White, REIV CEO, said access to high quality amenities and services- particularly schooling and education- is a key driver of price growth Melbourne wide.
‘Rather than paying private school fees, parents of school-aged children are increasingly investing that money in the family home and buying into areas zoned for top performing public schools’, Mr White said.
The ASG Planning for Education Index revealed the cost to send a child through private school in Melbourne in 2016 would be $15,280 a year for primary and $26,957 for the year at secondary level.
Paying a 'school zone premium' seems to make a lot of sense. Melbourne parents are smartly opting to invest in public school-zoned houses rather than paying exorbitant private school fees, where once the kids finish their schooling they can sell up their asset for big money.
It’s seemingly a win-win. Your child receives some of the best education in the state while your asset (the family home) appreciates in value over the duration of their schooling.
However, whether you can buy into one of the top school catchment zones is another matter, with strong competition from fellow parents wanting access to high quality education.
So we thought it’d be worthwhile to take a look at Australian School Rankings' data from the past three years of VCE Rankings to deduce Melbourne’s top six up and coming government secondary school catchment areas worth investing in now.
1. Northcote High School
Northcote High has seen steadily impressive VCE results over the past three years. Starting with a ranking of 34th best government school in 2013, moving up to 26th in 2014 and rising to 17th spot in 2015.
Northcote property stats: $1.1 million median house price (MHP) and 10% capital growth rate (CGR) (Your Investment Property Mag data).
View properties for sale in Northcote.
2. Frankston High School
Currently ranked 18th best government school in Victoria up from 29th in 2014, Frankston High has shown promising results over the past three years.
Frankston property stats: $440,000 MHP and 6.56% CGR.
View properties for sale in Frankston.
3. Ringwood Secondary College
Ringwood Secondary College has consistently ranked within the top 40 government schools in Victoria over the past three years. Coming in 33rd position in 2013, 21st in 2014 and 23rd in 2015.
Ringwood property stats: $842,500 MHP and 10.68% CGR.
View properties for sale in Ringwood.
4. Braybrook College
Braybrook College is on the rise, having moved from 39th spot in 2013, to 25th in 2014 and currently sitting at 36th best government school in Victoria.
Braybrook property stats: $560,00 MHP and 10.60% CGR.
View properties for sale in Braybrook.
5. Brighton Secondary College
Brighton Secondary college has come along in leaps and bounds in recent years. Moving from 40th spot in 2013, to 34th in 2014 and up to the 29th best Vic government school in 2015.
Brighton property stats: $2,287,500 MHP and 7.44% CGR.
View properties for sale in Brighton.
6. Viewbank College
Viewbank College is consistently moving up the ranks with good VCE results. Recording a ranking of 42nd in 2013, up to 32nd in 2014 and now sits at an impressive 30th position.
Viewbank property stats: $836,500 MHP and 7.41% CGR.
View properties for sale in Viewbank.
Do you think it's worth moving into a good school zone rather than forking out for private school fees? Let us know in the comments below or join the discussion on the best schools in Melbourne via the button below.
Happy house hunting!
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