Location, location, location is a familiar selling point for savvy real estate agents and when that location is close to desirable schools, rising property prices usually follow.
Some of Melbourne’s hottest property pockets have been created by parents seeking properties in desirable school zones and with some new educational institutions recently added to Melbourne’s suburban and urban landscape, the associated shift in property popularity is set to see parents keen to pay top dollar to buy or rent properties close by.
It’s a trend that investors always keep a careful eye on – and rightly so. In the well-established, designated zones surrounding both Balwyn High School in the leafy east and McKinnon Secondary College in the south, property prices in the streets that matter have been rock solid for years. But with nine new government schools opening the doors in 2019 – a boost in numbers to the 11 new schools that opened last year – the Melbourne real estate market is about to experience some positive turbulence.
Of peak interest for parents in the Chapel Street vicinity, is Prahran High School. It’s a co-educational secondary school built to accommodate the educational needs of 650 students and for families who have previously been putting off the area because of the lack of quality government school options, the flow-on effect will be tangible.
The community in Prahran has wanted this school for a long time and now that the doors are open, it will be a case of wait and watch to see how school culture and academic results live up to the expectation. If its reputation matches the hype, it’s one more reason Prahran will be back on the map for families – something that will see the suburb evolve in a new, exciting way.
Although the area has quality primary schools and highly-regarded independent schools, including Wesley College, St Michael’s Grammar and Melbourne Grammar, the lack of a government secondary school saw most local students zoned to nearby Elwood College – around five kilometres away.
But for families who can’t afford the fees associated with private schools, or simply want the experience of a local, neighbourhood public school, the launch of Prahran High School presents a more affordable option.
On the other side of the river, when the community of Northcote and surrounding suburbs drove the desirability of Northcote High, property values increased dramatically.
Recent projections from the federal government reveal that numbers of Australian students attending private school looks set to flatline across the next ten years as a growing number of parents make the decision to access public education for their children.
Real estate experts see the direction as a response to rising private school fees and say that, as a result, house prices within the zone of quality government schools, will continue to increase.
Whether or not that has already happened in Prahran since the announcement the school would open is hard to tell, as the suburb has always enjoyed a consistent property market, thanks to its favourable position close to boutique retails, impressive parks and gardens and a diverse range of dining options.
But for would-be buyers who felt previously priced out of some of the more expensive surrounding suburbs, including Toorak, Armadale and South Yarra, Prahran now ticks another box that will attract a new generation of young families with their eyes of a sustainable, family-friendly future.
With a different kind of real estate offering available – Prahran and Windsor have a lot of single-fronted homes with less outdoor space, as well as high numbers of townhouses and apartments – families who do not mind trading size of property for the convenience of a dynamic, well-serviced location, connect to the very urban feel of the new Prahran High school, complete with four-storey building design and a rooftop play area.
On the site of the former Preston Girls’ Secondary College, another school launching in 2019 is the co-educational Preston High School. Local real estate agents feel positive that the attraction of the school will see property prices in the surrounding streets soar, in the same way that Northcote High School’s popularity saw a permanent boost to the property prices in the sought-after school zone.
The fact that the assistant principal associated with Northcote High School’s well-earned reputation is now the Principal at Preston High School adds a credibility that parents are already finding attractive. As the school’s reputation and results prove it to be a positive addition to the government school options on offer, expect prices to peak and remain solid, as parents wanting the best educational opportunities for their children clamour to get close.
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