Brisbane families with school-age children are often willing to pay a premium to live in the catchment of a well-regarded State school. As a buyer’s agent and a mother myself, this is understandably one of the top priorities when searching for a family home.

While we know that State school catchments impact property prices, rarely is there an opportunity to place monetary value on a specific school catchment zone. However, there are examples in Brisbane over the years where it is clearly quantified. Let me take you through an example from back in 2019 in Ascot.

These two residences were last year constructed on a split 814sqm block where the school catchment boundary ran straight down the middle of the block – one side in Ascot State School, and the other in Hendra State School.

Ascot State School is highly regarded and well known to be one of the schools where parents out of catchment will camp out overnight to be placed on a waiting list. On the other hand, Hendra State School, with approximately 60 students, is a much smaller and less well-known school.

Both homes have been built by the same company and boast matching floor plans with five beds, three bathrooms, a double garage and a pool. The homes are ideally located in Ascot just around the corner from the Racecourse Road restaurant strip and opposite Eagle Farm Racecourse. The similarities mean they are uniquely placed to give us real insight into the value of the Ascot State School zone and a guide on what value other desirable school zones could add to a property value.

Of course, there are minor differences. Having viewed the homes before the auction date in June last year they were styled slightly differently. The home in the Ascot State School catchment was styled in the popular Hamptons theme, whilst the other home was styled with modern sophistication. It also has slightly less privacy with a small unit block next door a factor we need to keep in mind that also would impact the price of the homes, so they aren’t identical however it as close as we are likely to ever find. Both homes were passed in at Auction and used the same sales agent.

The Ascot State School home was passed in at auction but sold two months later at a sale price of $1,585,000.

The Hendra State School home, also passed in at auction, remained on the market for ten months and sold for $1,300,000.

The home in the Ascot State School commanding an impressive $285k premium over the comparable home in the Hendra State School zone, more importantly though there was a significant eight months difference in days on market (DOM). Do I think a desirable school zones adds over 20% value to a home? No, even I am surprised to see this staggering difference in price and DOM. Do I think the school factor contributed to the result? Yes. Given the homes were constructed and sold in the same market it gives us a great understanding of the importance to know the school zones before purchasing a property in the Brisbane market.

Note: I originally posted this article on Linkedin –