Wendy Alexander

PHOTO: Wendy Alexander, Acting Chief Executive at REINZ

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is warning that the new enrolment schemes that have been proposed by the Ministry of Education in Auckland could put additional pressure on house prices as families keen to secure houses in ‘good’ school zones will be prepared to pay more for their property.

Currently the Ministry of Education is in the throes of introducing new enrolment schemes for 135 schools across Auckland, a number of which will implement their changes at the beginning of Term 2 on May 3.

Wendy Alexander, Acting Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Whilst families will look for a number of specifics when it comes to purchasing a house, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the backyard or proximity to public transport; what school zone the property is in will often also play a significant role in the equation.

“We know from prior experience that homes within specific school zones tend to achieve a higher price than homes outside popular school zones, and the difference of one street, can literally be the difference between hundreds of thousands of dollars in some parts of Auckland,” she continues.

In the last 12 months, REINZ data has shown median house prices across the Auckland region have increased 18.5% to reach a new record median price of $1,120,000 in March 2021. House prices in Manurewa, where a number of these changes will come into effect on 3 May, grew by 20.6% to $820,000 suggesting that prices may continue rising in the coming months.

“Whilst there has been an increase in the number of housing developments being built across Auckland, there hasn’t been nearly enough to keep up with demand, and this has put upwards pressure on house prices,” says Alexander.

“Beyond specifics about the house, one of the most common questions real estate agents get asked is ‘what school zone is the house in?’ With the Ministry’s proposed changes, this is now going to be an even more important question for even more parts of Auckland, particularly as principals are warning that many families – even those within close proximity to their local school – may be caught out and be unaware of the changes in just a couple of weeks’ time,” continues Alexander.

“We will be taking this opportunity to remind our agents of the importance of keeping up to date with school zone changes, in order to ensure they can advise potential purchasers accordingly,” concludes Alexander.