Top School Catchment Areas Around Australia

12 January 2017

Recent research has shown that school zones are driving up real estate prices by 10-15%! We look at the most popular school zones in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Domain – one of Australia’s leading real estate destinations – launched a terrific new service back in 2015: school zone information on real estate listings, encompassing catchment information on more than 4,000 schools across Australia.

In some recent articles from Domain that incorporate this feature, demand for certain suburbs and local catchment areas are changing in comparison to data from 2015.

Which begs the question: what are some of the more desired suburbs of parents or parents-to-be at the moment? Canstar investigates.


According to recent Domain data, Brisbane families are paying about $100,000 extra for homes in order to get their children into their preferred school catchment zones.

Real estate agents have found demand for certain suburbs at peak levels, with popular school catchment zones including West End, Mansfield, Sunnybank Hills, Ascot, Indooroopilly, St Lucia, and East Brisbane.

Jamal Naouri, of Place Estate Agents, said demand for Brisbane State High School was at a record level with new enrolment guidelines that require parents to demonstrate a current lease agreement, or unconditional property sale contract and utility bills, in order to enrol their child in the school.


Melbourne is known by some as a “where did you go to school” type of town, so catchment details for public schools are no doubt handy, and also quite surprising. Real Estate Institute of Victoria data reveals parents are paying the biggest property premium to get their kids into Parkville’s University High School.

Homes inside the boundary fetched a median price of $1.395 million in the last year, which is $596,000 higher than the median for properties in a 1km radius outside it.

“Homes close to Glen Waverley Secondary College and University High School in Parkville have always been hot property,” said Domain journalist Emily Power.

Other hotspots include McKinnon Secondary College, Cheltenham Secondary College, and Frankston High School.



With Sydney private school fees some of the most expensive in Australia, being in the catchment for a desired public school could be a godsend – to the value of up to half a million dollars. Indeed, the most recent calculations from the Australia Scholarships Group suggest that for parents of a child born in 2016 the forecast cost of a private education in Sydney is $552,351, making it the most expensive city in Australia to educate a child through 13 years of schooling.

By contrast, the average cost within the public system is estimated to be $73,063 over 13 years of schooling. With the academic benefits of public schools actually reported to be better than private schools, it seems like a no-brainer.

So for cost-conscious parents, it’s worth knowing that Domain lists the zones for the following public schools as being in demand: Willoughby Girls High School, Killara High School, St Ives North Public School, Cherrybrook Technology High School, Epping Boys High School (Eastwood), Cheltenham Girls High School, and Bellevue Hill Public School are all in demand.



There are a number of desirable school suburbs in Perth.

“The Western Australian Curriculum and Standards Authority’s latest league tables list the top performing public schools as Perth Modern School, Shenton College, Willetton Senior High School, Rossmoyne Senior High School, Churchlands Senior High School, and Applecross Senior High School,” said Curtin University property lecturer J-Han Ho.

Agent Pauline Couanis said buyers were factoring in school zones before their children had even been born – buying investment properties in catchment areas so they have the option of moving into them further down the line.



In Adelaide, it’s all about Adelaide – Adelaide High School, that is. According to Domain’s Carolyn Boyd, other Adelaide hot zones are the catchment areas for Marryatville High School, Glenunga International High School, Mitcham Girls High School, The Norwood Morialta High School, Westbourne Park Primary, Open Access College, and Colonel Light Gardens.

Brighton Secondary School is another popular hotspot. Principal Olivia O’Neill said that out-of-zone entry through musical, sporting, or academic excellence or low socio-economic status meant zoning was only one factor determining school entry. However, she said it is becoming clear that some parents will do “everything they can” to get their kids into the school they want.

You can find out more about Domain’s new school catchment information here.

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