School zones now a bigger real estate consideration


School zones play a significant role in most families’ assessment of a property – they also help to hold a property’s value when the market is softer like now, says Century 21 New Zealand Owner Tim Kearins

Century 21’s property managers and agents are noticing a lift in enquiries from prospective tenants and buyers as parents try to get their children accepted into certain schools for 2023.

Desirable school zones have a measurable impact on a property’s value. In fact, economists in the past have calculated tens of thousands of dollars more for every decile added in Auckland. Identical houses can literally be a street away yet miles apart on price.

A very desirable school zone is often at the forefront of a property’s marketing too.

In some central Auckland suburbs, you’ll often see the likes of ‘DGZ’ plastered over advertising hoardings. Otherwise known as Double Grammar Zone, it has become a well-known acronym in the Auckland real estate market which is unlikely to change any time soon.

Population pressure on school rolls in recent years has seen schools enforce their boundaries more strictly. Properties within desirable ring-fenced zones are then limited in supply but high in demand, inevitably leading to higher sales prices.

A good real estate agent will know all about the school zones and their boundaries, as that will be a common question from buyers who want absolute clarity from the outset.

Even if first-home buyers don’t have children or school aged ones at the time, school zones remain attractive as they’re an important factor for future resale. School zones also impact a property’s rental prospects, potentially affecting the cost of rentals enormously.

Our Century 21 office in Palmerston North is right now receiving a higher level of enquiry from parents looking at the step between primary and intermediate or intermediate and secondary schools – with renters especially looking for more personally desirable school zones.

In the South Auckland suburbs, many sales are school zone driven.

Buyers are happy to pay extra or move into smaller houses if it’s a good school zone. Buyers ask about the school zone and decile. In fact, before they even start looking, they’ve shortlisted the schools they wish to send their children to.

Increasingly, school zones are a powerful consideration for both buyers and sellers alike. They’re too important to second guess.