School Ratings Effect on Home Values – Does it Matter?

susanlerner General

As homeowners in Lake Olympia, we recently had a concern about being rezoned to a different high school. Why so much concern?

As a realtor I know that many families with children “shop schools” when buying a new home. A recent study done by found, “In the United States, housing prices in the zones of highly ranked public schools are remarkably higher than those served by lower ranked schools.” This is not a secret to most of us, but the amount of difference even surprised the folks at Redfin.

Let’s look at home price data in a few local school zones and compare it to their school academic rating. In my own “mini study” I used the average square foot price of homes 2500 to 3500sqft sold in December 2014, zoned to each school listed below.

School           State Academic Test Results 2014      Avg. Home Price per SQFT                                       (TAKS and STAAR)

Clements HS                    98%                               $132

Elkins HS                          85%                               $125

Hightower HS                   75%                               $71

Willow Ridge HS               61%                               $97

First Colony MS                91%

Lake Olympia MS             68%

Colony Bend Elem.           89%

Palmer Elem.                    79%

The average sales price in Lake Olympia in December 2014 was $102 per sqft (2500 to 3500sqft). Now I realize my science here is not too exact. But, for the purpose of this discussion, I wanted to keep it simple.

So, do school ratings have an effect on home values? I think the conclusion is “yes”. (Willow Ridge HS zone includes new homes in the Fort Bend portion of Shadow Creek Ranch. Currently there is movement among the parents there to be removed from FBISD and moved into the PISD.) Lake Olympia MS has had low academic scores for many years now, which has had a strong influence on our home values.

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