How much does it cost to buy a house in Melbourne’s most popular school zones?



The premium that Melbourne home buyers are paying to get into sought-after school zones has skyrocketed over the past year, with new data showing house prices in 38 catchments have soared by more than 20 per cent – one by an astonishing 45.7 per cent.


The annual Domain School Zones Report, released on Thursday, shows the crush of Melburnians who have made a sea or tree change since the onset of the pandemic has helped drive house prices sky-high in school zones in the outer suburbs.


That includes the Mornington Peninsula’s Mount Eliza, where house prices in the Kunyung Primary School catchment jumped by a massive 45.7 per cent, adding $605,000 to the zone’s median across the year to July. The median in the Kunyung catchment is now a massive $1.93 million.


House prices in the nearby Mount Eliza North Primary zone soared by 37.5 per cent, or $450,000, to a $1.65 million median.


Inner-city postcodes favoured for their school zones are also still high on the list. The Richmond Primary School zone saw house prices jump by a massive 39.6 per cent, or $522,000, to a $1.842 million median.

Domain chief of economics and research Nicola Powell said a number of school catchment zones across inner, middle and outer Melbourne had performed so well that prices had actually outstripped overall suburb growth.


“Roughly one in 10 school zones in Melbourne had 10 per cent to 20 per cent additional house price growth over their suburb’s growth,” Dr Powell said.


She said house prices in sea and tree-change areas had done particularly well during the pandemic, as parents looked for a lifestyle change as well as a good school for their children.


“It really shows the marrying together of these overall trends,” she said. “We know people have been willing to pay a premium for more space during the pandemic, but there is an element of school zones that also goes into that decision making.”


One of the best performing school zones was Eltham East Primary School, where house prices rose by 17.2 per cent across the year.


That primary school was one of the reasons Sophie Cross and her husband Nick made the move with their two daughters, Chloe and Lily, from a smaller home in Eltham to a bigger home in October last year.

Ms Cross said she and her husband had budgeted for the move and were lucky to be able to buy it by private treaty in the school zone they had planned for.


“We bought and sold in the middle of two lockdowns last year, and we did look at the price range, and we stuck to a budget,” Ms Cross said. “We were lucky because, at the time, there wasn’t much around [for sale].”


Barry Plant Doncaster director and auctioneer Jason Stepanow said Eltham was attractive to a lot of families not only because of its green leafy surroundings but also because it was more affordable than nearby suburbs like Doncaster.


“In Doncaster, you’d pay $1.5 million or $1.7 million, whereas, in Eltham, you’d get into a great school zone for $1.1 million,” Mr Stepanow said.


Along the ever-popular Mornington Peninsula, buyers were paying more for a lifestyle change rather than just for the school zones over the past year, RT Edgar Mount Eliza director Vicki Sayers said.


There were particular schools that had always drawn families to the area, Ms Sayers said, including the Frankston High School zone, where house prices rose by 10.6 per cent over the year.


“There’s a broad range of schools in the area, and some people are buying so they can be on the bus route to [local private] schools like Toorak College or have accessibility to Haileybury College,” Ms Sayers said.


Similar buyers were looking in the inner city, Fletchers Canterbury director and auctioneer Tim Heavyside said.


“There are two different types of buyers – those who have money and can afford to buy into [private] school precincts like those in Kew and those who don’t have money but place value on their kids’ education in public schools,” Mr Heavyside said. “They’re betting everything they have on a better future for their kids.”



Ref: MELISSA HEAGNEY  | SENIOR JOURNALIST  (on 23 Sep 2021). How much does it cost to buy a house in Melbourne’s most popular school zones?. Retrieved from


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