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Real Estate

Alec Bruice: Study Illustrates Just How Much It Pays to Own in an A+ School District

Realtor.com, a leading online real estate destination operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc., recently released a new study that identifies the price premium to buy a home in a strong public school district, as well as the top 10 districts garnering the highest home prices and demand from buyers.

Realtor.com compared homes located in school districts rated 9 or 10 on the GreatSchools.org 10-point scale to homes situated in districts rated 6 or less.

The analysis shows homes within the boundaries of the higher rated public school districts are, on average, 49 percent more expensive — at $400,000 — than the national median of $269,000 and 77 percent more expensive than schools located within the boundaries of the lower ranked districts, with a median of $225,000.

“It’s common knowledge that buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a home in a strong school district,” said Javier Vivas, manager of economic research for realtor.com. “Our analysis quantifies just how good it is to be a seller in these areas.

"On average, homes in top-rated districts attract a price premium of almost 50 percent and sell more than a week faster than those located in neighboring lower ranked school districts.”

Houses located in these areas, on average, also move eight days faster than homes in below average school districts and sell four days faster — at 58 days — than the national average of 62 days.

Additionally, properties within the boundaries of higher-rated school districts are viewed 26 percent more, on average, than the average home on realtor.com (an indicator of buyer demand) and 42 percent more than homes in areas with below average schools.  

In top-ranked Beverly Hills Unified School District, homes sell for 689 percent more at $3.8 million than other homes in Los Angeles County at $550,000. That’s 1.6 times the premium of homes located in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District — rated No. 9 — that covers Santa Monica, Calif. and Malibu, Calif. and has a median list price of $2.5 million. 

Beverly Hills’s price premium is 3.9 times more than Culver City Unified School District in Culver City, Calif. that has a rating of 8 and a median list price of $975,000.

Rounding out the Top 10 school districts with the highest price premiums are: Highland Park Independent School District in Dallas, Texas; Kenilworth School District No. 38 in Kenilworth, Ill.; Indian Hill Exempted Village School District in Hamilton, Ohio; Winnetka School District 36 in Winnetka, Ill.; Manhattan Beach Unified School District in Los Angeles; Scarsdale Union Free School District in Westchester, N.Y.; Saddle River School District in Bergen, N.J.; San Marino Unified School District in Los Angeles; and Mariemont City School District in Hamilton, Ohio.

The district with the highest home buyer demand, as measured by realtor.com® listing views compared to the surrounding county, is Rocky River City School District in Cuyahoga, Ohio, rated 10, where listings within district boundaries receive 2.8 times more views than other areas in Cuyahoga County.

Homes in the Rocky River District also receive 1.7 and 1.5 times more listing views, respectively, than Westlake City School District in Westlake, Ohio, ranked 9 by GreatSchools and Lakewood City School District in Lakewood, Ohio. with a GreatSchools rating of 6.

Vivas added, “While highly ranked school districts in these markets have pushed home prices higher than their surrounding areas, the majority of these high demand markets are relatively affordable when compared to the national median, which is a big factor contributing to their popularity.”

Completing the Top 10 list are: Clear Creek Independent School District in Harris, Texas; School Town of Munster School District in Lake, Ind.; Orange School District in New Haven, Conn.; Etiwanda Elementary School District in San Bernardino, Calif.; Longmeadow School District in Hampden, Mass.; Strongsville City School District in Cuyahoga, Ohio; Plymouth-Canton Community School District in Wayne, Mich.; Regional School District 05 School District in New Haven, Conn; and Trumbull School District in Fairfield, Conn.

*Taken from the National Association of Realtors.

Alec Bruice is a licensed real estate broker with Santa Barbara Brokers and the 2016 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at [email protected] or 805.637.5774. The opinions expressed are his own.

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