School zone changes to fuel housing prices - experts

Several of Auckland's most prestigious high schools are closing the door on out-of-zone students - and experts warn it will fuel prices in popular school zones.

Mt Albert Grammar, Glendowie College and Western Springs College are taking steps to stop offering places to students outside their zones.

Several others are expected to follow as they battle roll increases due to increased housing developments.

However an industry body Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) warns these changes could drive up house prices in already expensive areas.

"As Auckland continues to experience unprecedented population growth, we understand that ending out-of-zone applications may be a necessity given the growth schools are facing," says CEO Bindi Norwell.

"However, given the upwards pressure on prices of buying in a popular school zone, our concern is that this will place even more pressure on some of those areas, further adding to unaffordability issues for people to send their children to some of these popular schools."

She says that houses in top school zones have already seen faster property price increases than the Auckland region median.

The Rangitoto College school zone saw a staggering 35.2 percent price increase when comparing the three months ending March 2018 to the three months ending March 2015.

Western Springs College school zone houses increased 30.2 percent, while Glendowie College school zone houses increased 28.3 percent.

"There is usually a premium for schools in so called 'good' school zones and this is evidenced when sales comparisons are made between different areas," Ms Norwell notes.

"These figures show just how popular some of these school zones are - especially those that have a good proximity to the Auckland CBD and are close to transport links/infrastructure.

"Considerations of Auckland's traffic has become of increasing importance and many buyers would rather pay a premium for location to save time on travel to the city. They're also prepared to sacrifice views for a quicker commute time."