Demand for houses in highly-ranked Sydney school zones has spiked, with prices in some public school catchments soaring by as much as a third in 2016, according to the Domain Group’s Domain School Zones Report.

In Sydney’s 10 fastest-growing school catchments, sales prices increased by more than 20% in the 12 months to October, compared to 1.5% growth Sydney-wide, the report said.

While buying homes in highly ranked Sydney school zones is challenging for many families, homeowners living in these areas are enjoying immense appreciation in property prices.  

“We know from anecdotal feedback from both agents and parents that a desirable school zone can influence prices by up to 10 to 15 per cent,” said Nicola Powell, Domain Group’s chief data scientist. “The school catchment helps determine the type of life you’re going to live, your commuting time and the education for your children, so it’s understandably something people will pay more for."

According to Simone Luxford, state manager at National Property Buyers, some clients have a particular school in mind when they’re searching for property, while others have a particular area in mind and ask real estate agents what the schools there are like.

“If they’re really sold on a specific school they’ll pay more to get it over the line when push comes to shove,” she said.

Some prospective homebuyers (mostly young professional couples) look into particular school zones before their children are even born.

For primary schools, the fastest growing catchment is Neutral Bay Public School, where the median house price grew 31.4% over the year to $2.5m.  

Robert Simeon, director at Richardson & Wrench Mosman/Neutral Bay, said the market was already stronger this year than it was last year, with an array of highly qualified buyers interested in the area.

“Neutral Bay School has an excellent academic reputation which has always attracted an oversupply of students trying to enrol,” he said.

Other top performers among Greater Sydney primary schools include Vaucluse Public School (up 26.8% to $4.12 m), and St Peters Public School (up 26.3% to $1.2 m).

Among secondary schools, Hunters Hill High School emerged at the top, with the median price jumping 20% to $3.18m in 2016. This was closely followed by Rose Bay Secondary College, up 19.9% to $3.1m. 

                         Greater Sydney Primary School Rankings 

               (Median house prices are based on sales 12 months to October)  
Rank School Name Suburb Postcode Oct. 2016 Oct. 2015 Year on Year %
1 Neutral Bay Public School Neutral Bay 2089 $2,575,000 $1,960,000 31.4%
2 Woodport Public School Erina 2250 $738,000 $580,000 27.2%
3 Vaucluse Public School Vaucluse 2030 $4,120,000 $3,250,000 26.8%
4 Thomas Acres Public School Ambarvale 2560 $720,000 $570,000 26.3%
5 St Peters Public School St Peters 2044 $1,200,000 $950,000 26.3%
6 Woolooware Public School Wooloware 2230 $1,540,000 $1,230,000 25.2%
7 Glenmore Road Public School Paddington 2021 $2,160,000 $1,737,500 24.3%
8 Blaxcell Street Public School Granville 2142 $769,000 $620,000 24%
9 Bondi Public School Bondi 2026 $2,500,000 $2,030,000 23.2%
10 Rydalmere East Public School  Ermington 2115 $1,160,000 $945,000 22.8%

                                                 Source: Domain School Zones Report