You’ve Been Schooled

Apartments are only for singles or couples without children, right? I mean, what family would choose to live in an apartment instead of a house? If you’re an investor with thoughts like these, you’re not alone.

You’re also likely forgoing potential opportunities by not adapting to the times. A recent report by KPMG asserts that since the 2011 census, the number of children aged 15 and under living in Brisbane’s inner city has risen by 40%. This suggests that a growing number of families are trading space for convenience. For some perspective, cumulative population growth in the city was a tad under 10% during the period.

A few clicks south-west of Brisbane, in bohemian West End, more than 70% of students attending the local primary school live in apartments. According to Queensland’s deputy premier and infrastructure minister Jackie Trad, ‘There are a number of people who choose to live in a city with school-aged children to be close to work in the CBD and to be close to great social infrastructure.’

In Sydney, the decision to close a number of schools more than a decade ago is now coming back to bite the NSW Government. In response to declining enrolments at inner city public schools, a parliamentary inquiry was held in 2002 to determine which of them should survive. The inquiry recommended that some schools remain open but others, like Redfern Primary School, were closed. Now enrolments at the surrounding Bourke St and Erskineville primary schools are booming, causing concerns about overcrowding.

That compromise between the space of suburbia and convenience of our cities will likely have a hand in dictating demand over the next few decades.

There’s another reason why you should take heed of the demographic evolution I describe. Real Estate Institute of Victoria data reveals that homes zoned for Melbourne’s most sought-after public schools are fetching up to $600,000 more than those just outside catchment areas.

Our state governments have been playing catchup to the demographic evolution. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake.



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