Researching catchment zones is common practice for home buyers with children. The importance of early private school enrollment or residing in a sought after school zone is generally raised within hours of a newborn’s arrival, often before they are born. Such decisions are deemed as critical to paving a successful educational path for a child.

Regardless of whether you are a parent looking to secure your child’s future education or a property investor, it can pay dividends to research schools that are consistently achieving or emerging as a top performing public school, before committing to purchase.

Whilst catchment zones are seen as pertinent to primary and secondary school education, they can also be used to determine kindergarten places. As such, they can be relevant from the time a child is 3 years of age. Essentially, they are the defined geographical boundaries where an institution’s bulk intake of students must reside. Ultimately, a family’s principal residence, owned or rented, determines whether a child will have access to the education institution desired.

These zones have driven a powerful shift in buyer and rental decision making, with many of our clients choosing their home according to this priority: catchment zone first, postcode second, property features third and aesthetic appeal forth. The net result is a strong positive correlation between top performing schools and property demand, rental yields and long-term appreciation.

Take, for example, Balwyn High School; last year, it ranked 4th for percentage scores over 40+.* Within this school catchment zone, RT Edgar observed rental properties attracting higher rental yield versus comparable homes in neighboring catchment areas. Similarly, properties that fell within the desired zone tended to attract more bidders at auctions compared to similar properties falling beyond the zone’s borders.

We have witnessed similar trends in the catchment zones for Glen Waverley Secondary College, Box Hill High School, Canterbury Girls Secondary School and Albert Park College, all of which have consistently produced strong VCE results over recent years.

For further information on top performing schools, refer to the Better Education Primary and Secondary School Rankings and Melbourne School Zones for catchment details. Also see RT Edgar articles Doing the Math on School Zones and The Educated Address.

Alternatively, speak to your local RT Edgar agent or refer to the school zone information. Following these trends will undoubtedly reduce your risk and help drive informed property investment decisions – Happy researching!

*Better Education VCE Public School Ranking 2015.