What really drives residential property markets?

What makes certain areas flourish and boom whilst others stagnate or receed?

Lifestyle and amenities is one of the key categories, and these factors are particularly pertinent for the Mornington Peninsula. Lifestyle is arguably the most important factor when considering a property.

Research shows the fastest growing suburbs are those with shops, transport and schools. These factors rank as the most in-demand searches on – Australia’s most frequented online property portal.

Lifestyle factors like accessibility to retail outlets, liveability, access to transport and jobs, health and education infrastructure and affordability are all key components.

Within all of this, there is a focus on the most traditional of determinants is the quality of nearby schools. Convenience to schools is a deciding factor in an increasingly large number of home purchases, and because of this properties in areas with access to good schools can withstand downturns more effectively and indeed achieve higher than market value results during boom times. It is natural then that many buyers will take into account the proximity of sought after schools whether they have school age children or not, simply because it makes sense from an investment point of view.

School boundaries are important in real estate searches, especially given the long waiting lists that exist for the leading private schools. Buyers often choose not to look at homes that sit outside of specific school boundaries. It seems buyers will forego that extra bedroom, family room or swimming pool so that they purchase in the right suburb. This is particularly pertinent for those who greatly value education, and for those overseas buyers who have children attending schools in Australia, often resulting in an increase in house prices.

A dilemma for many parents is that schools with great reviews are often located in areas with high-cost housing.

Explains Paul Osborne of

"I think when anybody is looking to purchase a property wrapped up in the price of that asset is always going to be amenities. We always know cafés and restaurants and access to the CBD is important, but increasingly important is the particular school zone that a property might fit within and how it actually goes in terms of its scoring mechanisms. The bottom line is that the way that we’re living today is very different in terms of we’re potentially looking at many small spaces – living in apartments, for example – and having a family within those particular areas where there haven’t traditionally been great schools. We’ve seen Haileybury College in Melbourne, for example, which has gone and purchased a $52 million city block in a city to develop a city campus."

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of adulthood, and deciding where to send your children to school is one of the biggest decisions of parenthood. has just launched must-have schools information with every listing on its site. The closest schools to a listing are automatically surfaced showing their name, type, sector and distance from the property.

“We know that school information is important to people looking to buy property on our site. In fact, 31% of home hunters have said that it matters when making a decision on a property,” says REA Group Chief Product Officer Henry Ruiz.

"What we’re also noticing is the number of overseas and interstate investors keen to buy homes primarily in the vicinity of desired schools.”

Buying near a school is a good investment, not only in terms of potential return, but also in the form of superior rents and longer tenancies.

Education and access to quality amenities, such as high performing public schools, are a key consideration for buyers and these areas will continue to see price growth. Homes in suburbs with school zones, undoubtedly experience a high turnover and there is a significant buyer demand for homes within the catchment of exceptional public schools. And when it comes to selling, vendors are increasingly keen to have nearby schools of note promoted on their property listing.

When choosing a primary school, your child will usually attend the primary school closest to where you live if attending a public school. If choosing a private school, travel is a consideration. Think about your family circumstances and needs:

  • How far do you want to travel and is the school reasonably close to home and/or work?
  • What facilities do they offer and are you comfortable with the ‘feel’ of the school?
  • Will the teachers and the school curriculum support all aspects of your child’s development, including social, emotional, physical and cognitive needs?

In terms of secondary education, the considerations are often a lot deeper and gain a lot more attention and consideration.

- Does the school cater to your child’s interests and needs, and all aspects of

their development, including social, emotional, physical and cognitive needs?

- How important is it to you that your child knows other children at the school?

- What is the school’s academic rating

- How does the school deal with bullying?

To find schools within your area, you can check out the following websites:


Lists all the schools in your area and their contact details, including the school’s website address.

Provides searchable profiles of almost 10,000 Australian schools. You can quickly locate statistical and contextual information about schools.

With such a wide variety of excellent private and public primary and secondary schools on the Mornington Peninsula, the area is ticking all the boxes in terms of lifestyle and amenity considerations. Keep an eye on our Danckert Real Estate Facebook page for information on our local schools.

Our Journal