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Inside the Market / Market Trends

Buying a house near a good school is far more expensive

Junior school children leaving school

A study has found that proximity to a good school had a notable effect on house prices in France. Depending on the city and renown of the institution in question, prices are 5 to 15% higher close to a good school.

In what some call the backpack effect, housing near a good school is notably pricier than elsewhere. A study conducted by has confirmed this trend in France, with the report referring to “housing bubbles in the vicinity of schools.”

The study authors analyzed prices in all major French cities, organizing property according to their proximity to primary, elementary and high schools and universities. What they found? The closer the property is to the school, the more noticeable the price difference.

Prices for homes near good schools are on average 5% higher across France, so for a property worth 300,000 euros, the price difference is an impressive 15,000 euros. The figure increases to 15% depending on the location and school in question — equating to a 45,000-euro price difference on a 300,000-euro home.

In order to enroll a child in a given public school, the family has to reside in the nearby zone of the school. Therefore, a child with the intellectual ability to excel at a very good school cannot do so if his parents do not live within the designated area. Critics find this restriction undermines equality of opportunity as well as social diversity: given the price difference proximity to a school engenders, not all families can afford to move closer to ensure their child gets the best educational opportunities they can.

This correlation between house prices and school locations is not reserved to France, but is widespread in many countries. It is a notable issue in the United States for instance, as detailed by the Wall Street Journal.

Image source: familyfriendlysearch


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