Summer Real Estate Searches Soar in Top Rated School Districts

One of life’s major changes is just that: new life – as in, children. And when babies suddenly grow into toddlers ready for school, another life change presents itself. For now, families must decide if where they live is the best place for their kids to get an education.

Cities are a good example of locations that sometimes lose families for this reason. Indeed, places that were a perfect fit for childless couples, or were fun and exciting with infants, may no longer work once school-age children become a consideration. This isn’t always the case, of course, as many people fall in love in and with a city, and commit to making family life work within that city - including sending their children through the public school system therein.

But when parents are deciding if they should move, and then where they should move, to give their kids access to the best schools, they begin real estate searches. These searches, logically, include search by school district, which anyone can do using ZipRealty’s home search feature. We at ZipCode hypothesized that the searches would also coincide with those districts most highly rated nationally for test scores, parent approval and student reviews (for more on how to find top-rated schools, read our upcoming blog post on Wednesday). Our hypothesis, as shown in the data below, proved correct.

Here we see real estate searches from mid-June through Mid-August in three areas served by ZipRealty: The East Bay, CA Metro (which is a part of the San Francisco Bay Area); the Portland, OR Metro; and the Houston, TX Metro.

1) The East Bay, CA

We chose the East Bay for this study because the area is rich in suburban enclaves offering excellent schools. The city of San Francisco is on record for losing families once children reach school age, and the East Bay is one area these families move to.

The graph you see below shows home searches by ZipRealty home search users. We not only calculated which districts people searched most often, but also accounted for the inventory in the area. Thus, we were able to correlate district searched with the number of times a property within that district was viewed. In the East Bay, Piedmont City is indeed one of the most highly rated school districts, and here it is also the most searched (click the chart to see a full-sized version):

Search MLS listed homes for sale by school district in the San Francisco Bay Area


2) Portland, OR

Portland is a vibrant and innovative city, but it too suffers some family exodus when families with kids start thinking about the best schools in the state. Similar to San Francisco familes, these families who ultimately decide to move often choose a suburban enclave that is close to the city proper, but that offers highly rated school districts. In this case, Lake Oswego, an affluent Oregon suburb close to the city of Portland, offers a very highly rated district.

It is also the most searched school district on Zip’s home search (click the chart to see a full sized version):

Search MLS listed homes for sale by school district in the Portland, OR Area


3) Houston, TX

Houston’s data show also family’s desire for the best schools, with home searches most common in those highest rated districts. And just as with the East Bay and Portland examples, many of the districts shown here are housed in suburban areas close to, but not directly in, the city of Houston proper. (click the chart to see a full sized version):

Search MLS listed homes for sale by school district in the Houston Area