Is a Local School’s Success Affecting Your Chance of Securing a Family Home?

By February 12, 2018 No Comments

It’s the day children and teenagers dread the most — the first day back at school for the year.  Getting children out of bed after 6-8 weeks of sleeping in, preparing the lunch boxes with new and exciting but nutritious and healthy snacks, suddenly realising that several items of a compulsory uniform can no longer be found or worse don’t fit, will all collaborate to throw the home into chaos.  However, the chaos pails into insignificance by comparison to the emotional rollercoaster faced by house-hunting parents as they discover exactly how difficult it is to find accommodation within a top-performing school zone.

Let’s take a closer look at a current situation occurring in Melbourne.

McKinnon Secondary College is in the Melbourne bayside suburb of McKinnon and is well known for its music faculty.  Established in 1955, it has developed an excellent name.  Whilst it is surrounded by wonderful suburbs such as Bentleigh, Bentleigh East, Sandringham and Brighton, the little suburb of McKinnon has become a magnet for new residents and subsequently, property developers.

McKinnon and Bentleigh East are just two of Melbourne’s suburbs benefiting from their position within a top performing public school catchment, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV).  Suburbs within the McKinnon Secondary College school zone attract a $50,000-$200,000 price difference to the neighbouring suburbs.

The McKinnon Secondary College principal has recently requested council to slow down on medium density approvals, noting that the school has grown from 1100 students to 1950.  The schools’ infrastructure is struggling to keep up with up to 32 portable classrooms now in use, leaving the school nowhere to grow other than upwards.  Recently it was announced that a $9million grant has been offered to build new classrooms by the state government.

Despite these pressures, the school continues to improve upon its students’ performance within the VCAT rankings.  It’s this performance which is driving placement pressure which in turn is providing catchment demand.  Essentially it has become a victim of its own success.  The schools success and subsequent demand have resulted in property prices rising, and a push for new developments.

Rp Data – Core Logic statistics show almost 35% growth this year in the apartment market alone.  A population influx that many are stating is due solely to the McKinnon Secondary college appeal.

REIV president, Richard Simpson said buyers were willing to pay a premium to live in the same zone as some of the state’s best primary and secondary schools.  “The difference in price can be as high as half a million dollars,” he said.

“Strengthened zoning restrictions are also limiting areas of consideration for family buyers, which in turn is increasing demand and house prices in those suburbs remaining in the zone.”

Within real estate circles it is well known what effect a high performing school can have on demand, with many parents unable to secure a home resorting to rental accommodation within the zone to secure a spot on a waiting list. These stories are not isolated to the best private schools as one would expect, but property data around many outstanding public schools will reflect similar results.

If you have a story to tell, find the article at and leave me a comment. I would love to hear more from you about the impact of choosing a school zone for your children. Alternatively, the team at Launch Properties can be contacted on (02) 9009 2428 to answer all your investment property needs.