Good Schools Matter

ATTOM Data Solutions released its 2016 Schools and Housing Report, which shows that homes in zip codes with at least one good elementary school have higher values and stronger home price appreciation over the long term than homes in zip codes without any good elementary schools — where homes lost more value during the housing downturn but have seen stronger appreciation during the housing recovery of the last five years.

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For the report, ATTOM Data Solutions analyzed 2016 home values and price appreciation along with 2015 average test scores in 18,968 elementary schools nationwide in 4,435 zip codes with a combined 45.9 million single family homes and condos. For purposes of this report, a good school was defined as any with an overall test score at least one-third above the state average (see full methodology below).

Out of 1,661 zip codes with at least one good school, the average estimated home value as of July 2016 was $427,402, 77 percent higher than the average home value of $241,096 in 2,774 zip codes without any good schools.

“While good schools are one of the top items on most homebuyer checklists because of the quality-of-life benefit they provide, this report shows that high-performing schools also come with a financial benefit for homeowners in most markets — at least over the long term,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions (parent company of RealtyTrac). “Meanwhile, home prices in zip codes without any good schools tend to be more volatile, which might work to a homeowner’s financial benefit in the short term but not over the long term of at least 10 years.”

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83 percent of metro areas post higher home values in zips with good schools

Out of 173 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed for the report, 143 metros (83 percent) had higher average home values in zip codes with good schools than in zip codes without good schools, including Los Angeles (65 percent higher); Chicago (65 percent higher); Atlanta (91 percent higher); New York (52 percent higher); and Miami (31 percent higher).

Metro areas where home values in zip codes with at least one good school were at least 95 percent higher than home values in zip codes without any good schools included Birmingham, Alabama (169 percent higher); Flint, Michigan (129 percent higher); and St. Louis (99 percent higher); Detroit (97 percent higher); and Baltimore (95 percent higher).

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