11.23.2016 Property Trends

Eastern Suburbs Schools: How Homebuyers Pick Their Suburb

Eastern Suburbs Schools: How Homebuyers Pick Their Suburb

For families in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, there are two major factors they tend to focus on when choosing an area to live in when their budget has been accounted for.

The first is their lifestyle and the second is a home’s proximity to preferred schools for their children. With the end of the school year fast approaching, homebuyers undoubtedly have the big ‘e’ – education – firmly in mind.

This is for a very good reason. The eastern suburbs has some of the best schools in Sydney, but you need to be in the right ‘zone’ or ‘catchment’ to have a chance at getting your children into those schools. Each public school, or government school, has a designated intake of students, and children within the eligible zones are entitled to be placed in these schools. They will often ask for utility bills and other proof of address.

For Independent and religious schools – such as Catholic schools – they are not bound by the zoning but often take your location into consideration. You should speak to the individual schools you are considering enrolling your children into to be sure you can fulfill the requirements.

For those with sons and daughters who are not at co-ed schools, it can be a challenge to ensure both are accessible both in terms of zoning and the drop-off/pick-up routine every morning.

For instance, we’ve seen buyers with sons at Cranbrook School in Bellevue Hill and their daughters at Ascham School in Edgecliff and they want to be near enough to both for the school drop off. This means they’re willing to pay a premium to get a home that sits within a very specific slice of the eastern suburbs.

These requirements are far from unusual and have made areas from the Harbour Foreshore through Vaucluse and Point Piper highly sought-after. Moriah College in Queens Park and Emanuel School in Randwick are two very popular schools, while Glenmore Road Public School in Paddington is desirable. Family-friendly properties within easy distance of these schools can often sell, and rent, for a premium.

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For home sellers, being in a desirable school catchment area can make all the difference come auction day. It’s absolutely something that we will highlight in your advertising material, as a large proportion of our local buying cohort are families with school-aged – or very soon to be school-aged – children.

In the entire eastern suburbs region lives about 250,000 people. According to the 2011 Census, 42.5 per cent were couple families with children, followed by 41.2 per cent couple families without children. A further 13.4 per cent were one-parent families. If your home has three bedrooms or more in one of these areas, it’s very likely to be hot property when it hits the market. This is particularly the case in a tight market, which is what we’re seeing at the moment.

For buyers, the NSW Department of Education has a school locator that can provide you with details about schools you’re researching and is a good point of reference. It is worthwhile calling the schools you are interested in, to ensure the zoning boundaries are up to date and to go through any additional enrollment requirements.

It can also be beneficial to do a practice school run in the morning, during drop-off hours, to get a sense of what your mornings might be like in the area. Nothing beats getting in the car yourself for one day before committing to a new home.

The best-positioned homes are often within the school zone, but not right next door to the top schools as they offer access to them without the busy streets during peak hours of the day.