Do School Zones Affect Property Prices In Sydney’s Inner West?

June 30th, 2023 - by Brad Gillespie

School catchment zones can have a major impact on the value of property in Sydney’s inner west, according to a recent Domain study.

Domain’s 2023 School Zones report found that house prices often rose in high-demand school catchment zones than in other parts of the city.

In fact, 66% of Sydney areas within high-demand government primary school areas saw house prices rise. Meanwhile, house values lifted in 69% of high-demand secondary school catchment zones.

The report also found that, across Sydney, annual house price growth in 46% of primary and 44% of secondary school catchments analysed surpassed the respective suburb price growth. Moreover, 88% of primary school and 95% of secondary school catchments saw up to 10% more growth compared to the suburb in which they were located.

What school zones matter so much

When a child lives in a catchment area, they are guaranteed a place at their local public school. If they don’t live in the catchment area, they can only enrol at the school if it has the capacity for “out of area” enrolments.

This leads many families to move close to a school with a good reputation. In fact, buying (or renting) a home within a particular catchment area has become an important enrolment strategy for parents trying to secure a place for their child in their preferred school.

At the same time as this happens, many parts of the inner west are becoming more-and-more family oriented. That’s especially true in parts of the inner west and inner city where houses, rather than apartments, dominate. Increasingly, we’re also seeing young families choose to remain in apartments long-term to take advantage of the inner city lifestyle, even as the children grow older.

This phenomenon will soon lead to the opening of one of Sydney’s newest schools right in our part of the world: Green Square Public School, due to open in 2025.

Which catchment areas performed best in Sydney’s inner west and inner city?

According to the Domain report, house prices in the following inner west and inner city catchment areas performed best in the year to July 2021.

School Median House Price Growth
Erskineville Public School $1,820,000 1.1%
Petersham Public School $1,815,250 5.0%
Gardeners Road Public School $1,780,000 0.6%
Mascot Public School $1,857,500 9.3%

Which are the top-performing schools in Sydney’s inner west and inner city?

It’s difficult to measure which school is the best performing in Sydney’s inner west, as different parents and students value different things in their education. However, below, we’ve listed some of the schools our buyers and sellers have chosen for their children’s education.

Best public high schools in Sydney’s inner west

The following high schools in Sydney’s inner west have a great reputation, and many parents choose to buy specifically within their catchment areas.

  • Alexandria Park Community School. This popular K-12 school has recently been renovated and expanded, and has strong community ties and a staff-to-student ratio of just 1:14.
  • Inner Sydney High School. One of Sydney’s newest schools, the highrise Inner Sydney High School, isn’t just about brand-new facilities. It also enjoys a reputation for quality teaching.
  • Newtown High School of the Performing Arts. One of the leading Performing Arts schools in Australia it is recognised internationally for its excellence. Entry is by audition.
  • Dulwich Hill School of Visual Arts and Design. A specialist visual arts and design high school, Dulwich Hill has a strong commitment to delivering high-quality education with a creative focus. It offers a visual arts and design selective stream, as well as mainstream enrolments.

Best private high schools in Sydney’s inner west

Private schools don’t require you to live in a catchment area. However, for convenience, many families like to live close by.

  • Newington College (Stanmore). Independent Uniting Church school for boys (pre-K-12) with a reputation for academics and extracurricular activities. The school is part of the prestigious Great Public Schools (GPS) organisation and provides the IB.
  • Trinity Grammar School (Summer Hill). This Anglican school also caters only to boys and has a strong following among inner-west parents. It is part of the Combined Associated School (CAS).
  • MLC School (Burwood). Previously ‘Methodist Ladies College’, now also run by the Uniting Church, MLC caters for girls from K-12 and is known for its pastoral care and comprehensive academic program, which includes the IB.
  • Presbyterian Ladies College (Croydon). PLC Sydney has a reputation for academics and finished among the top 20 NSW schools in 2022’s HSC. It also boasts a comprehensive extracurricular program.
  • International Grammar School (Ultimo). With an emphasis on languages, this scholar, K-12 co-ed private school is centrally located.

Want more?

Find out more about school rankings at Better Education or MySchool. If you’d like to know more about buying into the best catchment areas in Sydney’s Inner West, contact my team today.