Auckland's grammar zone house prices are through the roof

Houses aren't much cheaper on the North Shore, with prices in the Westlake Girls zone selling for well over $1 million.
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Houses aren't much cheaper on the North Shore, with prices in the Westlake Girls zone selling for well over $1 million.

Auckland parents desperate to get their kids into exclusive school zones are paying more than $2 million to buy a house in some areas, new data suggests.

Figures from a new website Relab.co.nz give house prices and the cost of rent in zones for a number of top Auckland schools as well as a rough overview of their exam success.

As expected, Auckland Grammar and Epsom Girls Grammar - in the wealthy suburbs of Remuera and Epsom - have the highest house prices of $2.16m and $2.14m respectively.

Things were not much cheaper on the North Shore. A house in the Takapuna Grammar zone was $1.93m, while in the Westlake Girls and Boys zone they were $1.98m and $1.94m respectively.

READ MORE: 
School zones having big effect on house prices, but there are bargains to be had
Getting in the Inzone: tackling Auckland's grammar zones

However, while most of these exclusive schools had strong exam pass rates, it was not always the case.

Bill Ma said Relab was trying to help parents budget, not comment on the schools.
JASON DORDAY/FAIRFAX NZ

Bill Ma said Relab was trying to help parents budget, not comment on the schools.

For instance, a house in Newton cost $1.75m but the nearby Auckland Girls' Grammar had a "school score" - based on pass rates - of 4, and a 50 per cent pass rate in University Entrance. 

Its scores were reportedly representative of the wide mix of students it took.

Conversely, the school score at Western Springs College was 8 and it had a 92 per cent pass rate in UE, even though houses were prices lower, at $1.44m.

Relab cofounder Bill Ma said the company wanted to show parents how much they needed to budget for rather than make any comment on the schools.

"Because a lot of people, if they are not local or not from Auckland ... if you're looking at over 50 suburbs in Auckland you have no idea."

Jeremy O'Hanlon, head of marketing at another property data agency, homes.co.nz, has also looked into school zoning.

While school zones were "definitely a contributing factor" to house prices, he said it didn't always mean buyers were getting the best value for money.

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"High decile schools don't always correlate perfectly with higher performance," he said. "There's plenty of schools that interact really well and are punching above their weight."

O'Hanlon also said the price increases in grammar zones were not that out of line with the growth across the city.

Grammar zone house prices were based not just on schooling, but because they tended to have leafy suburbs with bigger houses close to the city

The real litmus test was how other areas had performed. Manukau, for instance, had seen an 80 per cent price jump in four years, about $400,000.

"I don't think it's easy to say these [grammar zone] areas have had more significant spikes and growth than other areas in Auckland."

Sample house price and rent figures (source: relab.co.nz):

Auckland Grammar, $2.16m to buy into (up from $1.1m in 2006), $848 a week in rent. School score, based on exam results: 9

Epsom Girls, $2.14m to buy into, weekly rent $848. School score: 9

Westlake Girls, $1.98m to buy, rent $755. School score: 8

Westlake Boys, $1.94m to buy, rent $755. School score: 9

Auckland Girls, $1.75m to buy, rent $918. School score: 4

Takapuna Grammar, $1.93m to buy, rent $755. School score: 7

Western Springs College, $144m to buy, rent $752. School score: 8

Manurewa High, $819,360 to buy, rent $614. School score: 1

Note:

Relab house prices are based on the school zone not the suburb and excludes apartments. Based on a three-bedroom standalone house on a 600 square metre section. 

According to homes.co.nz, houses in the "double grammar" zone of Auckland Grammar and Epsom Girls were averageing $1.85m in October last year.

Auckland Girls Grammar and Mt Albert Grammar were averaging $1.25m and Westlake Boys/Girls zone were selling for an average of $1.19m.

 - Stuff

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