Good schools improve home values

To the Editor:

As a local Realtor in Rockford for the last 13 years, I have worked with many buyers who are looking for very specific school districts to purchase their new home in.

Because proximity to a quality school is such a high priority for some families as they search for their next home, buyers and sellers in cities with top ranked schools or school districts can often expect to see higher median list prices as compared to the statewide median list price. Sometimes this amount can be as much as 5 to 20 percent higher. There are many studies to support this published in The New York Times, The Brookings Institution and Forbes to name a few.

“People will pay for the school district” they just will. I’m not here to advocate for or against school bills /taxes/bonds. I’m simply addressing the headline … Does having good schools improve home values? The short answer: Without a doubt yes!

John Reis and Tsur Sommerville, researchers at the University of British Columbia, recently published results on an interesting “natural experiment.” Vancouver, British Columbia, rezoned schools in the city and Reis and Sommerville then tracked the change in housing prices for houses that had been switched in-to or out-of high quality school zones. This study showed that if you rank schools in terms of quality from 1 to 100, moving up from 30 to 70 would raise prices in neighborhoods by 4 percent in the Vancouver area.

I know and understand that not all people have kids currently enrolled in the district. Not all people plan on having kids in the schools and not all people with kids buy in an area because of the district rankings; however, better schools, test scores and school facilities do and will raise home values. It simply makes the area more desirable.

No matter what your position is on any school bond or tax increase, keep in mind it’s not just the schools that benefit but your properties value will escalate as well. In today’s market, that is a very good thing.


Derrick Monroe