Brisbane’s Best School Zones: Where Home Buyers Pay More

19th Jan 2019

FAMILIES are forking out tens of thousands of dollars more for homes in Brisbane’s prized public school catchments rather than pay the equivalent in private school fees.

As parents prepare to send their kids back to school, real estate agents have been run off their feet fielding inquiries for homes in popular school zones, with buyers prepared to pay a premium to be near a top performing school — seeing it as investing not only in their homes, but also their children’s education.

Some sought-after schools are at such capacity, they are reportedly discouraging families from buying in the catchments.

In-demand schools such as Mansfield State High, Indooroopilly State High, Ironside State School, Mount Gravatt State High and Graceville State School are currently under Education Queensland catchment management plans — which is introduced when a school nears its capacity and a principal is instructed to control any out-of-catchment enrolment requests.

The state government released new school catchment maps last year, with big changes made to the zone for Queensland’s top ranked public high school — Brisbane State High, where more than half of all students received OP1s last year.

Those homes that have remained in the catchment are likely to gain in value, while some of those which were excluded are expected to suffer.

Michael Hatzifotis of Place Estate Agents – Kangaroo Point said demand to buy in to the Brisbane State High School catchment had grown even stronger since the recent rezoning.

The median house price in South Brisbane is $895,000, according to CoreLogic, but that’s not putting off buyers with children.

“Every single person has to be in this catchment,” Mr Hatzifotis said.

“They’re moving from Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne.”

Mr Hatzifotis said demand for properties in the catchment had increased by up to 30 per cent, and in the past six months, there had been a 10 per cent rise in international buyers.

Luke O’Kelly of Ray White – West End said parents of school-aged children were investing in the family home by buying into areas zoned for some of the city’s best public schools, rather than paying the same in private school fees.

Mr O’Kelly said buyers were willing to pay up to $100,000, or around 10 per cent more, for a property in the Brisbane State High School catchment.

He’s marketing a five-bedroom house in Chapel Hill, which is in the Indooroopilly State School catchment, which goes to auction this weekend.

In Brisbane’s southeast, Mansfield State High School is the second top ranked public high school in the state, and demand for properties there is at its peak.

Local agent Tony Langanis of Ray White Mt Gravatt said about 70 per cent of people looking to buy in the 4122 postcode were doing so to get into the Mansfield State High catchment.

He said some families were willing to pay an extra $50,000 to $80,000 to secure a property in the zone.

“Simply because of the reputation of the school and the high OP achievements of the students there,” Mr Langanis said.

“As a result, more money’s coming into the suburb.

“It’s becoming more affluent, and homes and streetscapes are changing for the better.”

The average house price in Mansfield has risen more than 22 per cent in the past three years to reach $673,000, according to CoreLogic.

A rundown house on a large block of land in Wishart recently sold under the hammer for $1.385 million, with a dozen registered bidders fighting for the property purely because of its proximity to the school.

In the city’s west, house prices in the Indooroopilly State High School catchment have risen to an average of $860,000.

Alex Jordan of McGrath Estate Agents said demand for schools was the main driver of the housing market in Brisbane’s inner west.

“Most people are selling their homes — many in southside suburbs — and moving into the inner west, mainly because of the education for their kids,” he said.

Mr Jordan said many families were realising the benefits of buying into a good state school catchment, such as Indooroopilly State High School or Ironside State School, rather than paying private school fees.

“If you’ve got two children, then you’re looking at paying about $25,000 per child a year for private schooling,” he said.

“They could buy a property in a good school catchment and take out a million-dollar (home) loan, and their outgoings would be the same as having two children in a private school.”



1. Rainworth State School

2. MacGregor State School

3. Ashgrove State School

4. Ironside State School

5. Wishart State School

6. Indooroopilly State School

7. Sunnybank Hills State School

8. Chapel Hill State School

9. Graceville State School

10. Robertson State School



1. Brisbane State High School

2. Mansfield State High School

3. Indooroopilly State High School

4. Cavendish Road State High School

5. Mount Gravatt State High School

6. Kelvin Grove State College

7. The Gap State High School

8. Kenmore State High School

9. Brisbane School of Distance Education

10. Stretton State College              (Source: