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 Redfin.com 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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