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Changes to School zoning and how they affect the value of your home

School zoning or defined school catchment areas can either add or detract from the value of your home. The Western Australian Education department is very strict about their state school catchment areas, being the geographical locations where a state school’s core intake of students must live.

Due to these defined local enrolment areas, a child is entitled to enrol in a particular school based on their residential address. Certain state schools are very well-regarded and have a reputation for excellence in the community.

The chance to live in the catchment area for such schools can be a major impetus for rising prices in the property market. However, sometimes the Education Department needs to adjust school catchments to ensure even distribution of students throughout the local schools. This may cause parents to desire to move into the newly defined catchment area, and possibly a fall in property prices in the catchment area of a less desirable school.

Property owners without school-age children may be caught unawares by the drop-in property prices for their local neighbourhood, so this is something to keep in mind when purchasing a new property or in deciding to sell an existing one. Also, properties near sought-after schools can command a premium over similar properties outside the zone, so they might become a stronger rental proposition for investors too.

For example, in the northern and western suburbs of Perth, the most sought-after high schools are Mount Hawthorn Primary School, Churchlands Senior High and Shenton College and there is interest by parents in finding a home within these zones. Due to the demand and size of the schools, the Education Department is changing its catchment areas.

For example, there is a catchment area delineation for 2017 to 2019, but this will change in 2020, because of the new inner-city high school (next to Subiaco Oval) which will be opening in that year and will change the catchments for Shenton and Churchlands.

Some suburbs that are affected by these boundary changes are Yokine, Mount Hawthorn, North Perth and Joondanna. Some properties in these areas, depending on their exact location may have had access to Churchlands up until the end of 2019, but will then be redirected to either the new high school, or one of either Mt Lawley Senior High, Carine Senior High, Balcatta Senior High or Mirrabooka Senior High, with the new boundary also including Dianella Secondary College.

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Changes to School zoning and how they affect the value of your home