23 Apr 2014
More and more family buyers now want to live close to good schools. This is boosting home sales and prices in suburbs such as Parkhurst in Johannesburg, Rondebosch in Cape Town and Durban North in Durban, which are all known for their proximity to several excellent schools, as well as in gated estates like Dainfern and Cornwall Hill which have their own schools.
If one examines the suburban buying patterns related to schools, properties within walking distance are ideal and generally attract a premium price.
This is according to Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterBond, who says consequently, this might be a good time for those who live in such areas but who don’t have school going children to consider selling.
On the other hand, it might also be a good time for those who are planning a family to start looking for a home in a suburb with good schools before prices rise any further.
Rademeyer says the main reason for the ‘edugration’ trend is the huge demand for places in top schools, which has forced most of them to impose strict rules about only taking new learners from their immediate catchment areas.
Thus, he says if you don’t live in the right suburb, your children probably won’t be able to go to the school of your choice.
Another reason, he says, is the ever-rising petrol price, which means that the cost of driving children to and from a distant school and to any extramural activities, added to the cost of commuting to work, could impact significantly on the household budget.
This is why, if one examines the suburban buying patterns related to schools, properties within walking distance are ideal and generally attract a premium price. Thereafter, as the radius of travelling distance extends from the focal point of the school, home prices decline.
Similarly, home prices in estates with their own schools or close to a sought-after institution tend to be higher than those in developments where parents still have to transport their children to school.
Related to this, another important consideration for family buyers is the range of extramural activities offered by their preferred schools, he says. “If children are able to participate in their after-school sports and cultural activities on the school premises, this cuts down on afternoon trips for parents, and if they and their friends can then walk or cycle home in a safe environment, so much the better.”