Redfin Study: Home Prices in Top Performing School Zones

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Just because you send your children to public school doesn't mean you're not paying for their education - and not just in higher property taxes. A new study finds that home prices in school attendance zones (SAZs) with top performing schools are often more expensive by hundreds of thousands of dollars than similar homes in SAZs with lower ranked schools. The online real estate brokerage Redfin published a study on the affordability of homes in top elementary school attendance zones. The study was conducted using Maponics' school attendance boundaries, which are part of our School Boundaries dataset. The study examined home sales between May 1 and July 31, 2013, and it captured median sale price and price per square foot of properties sold. The study included 10,811 elementary school zones across 57 metro areas and looked at 407,509 home sales.

Coastal California Shows Highest Priced Homes for Top Schools

Although homes in every metro area tracked in this study were more expensive when located in top performing SAZs, certain areas contained drastically higher-priced homes depending on the schools. San Jose had the highest dollar cost difference, with homes in the highest-ranking SAZs going for nearly half a million dollars more than those in lower-ranked SAZs. Los Angeles properties also had high disparity: homes with better schools in the City of Angels cost up to $300,000 more than those with worse schools.


Where to Find Affordable Homes in Highly Ranked SAZs

Fortunately, there are still locations where you can get a more affordable home in a school zone with a top performing school. Here are 5 metro regions that fit this description, in ascending order of median home price:

  • Eugene, OR
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Queens, NY
  • Boston, MA

The following graph contains a breakdown of home prices by metro region:



 Check out this Redfin blog post about how to search Redfin listings by school zone.