Many Buyers Priced Out of Top School Districts

Many of the top-rated schools are too pricey for the average wage earner, finds a new study by RealtyTrac, which evaluated school test scores for nearly 27,000 elementary schools in more than 7,200 U.S. city codes as well as home price affordability in those ZIP codes.

Read more: Millennials Will Move to the ‘Burbs for Good Schools

Of 1,823 ZIP codes with at least one good school, 1,192 – or 65 percent – were unaffordable for average wage earners, the study found. Average wage earners would need to spend more than one-third of their income in order to purchase a median-priced home there.

The median sales price for homes in ZIP codes with good schools was, on average, $411,573 – 95 percent higher than the median home sales price in ZIP codes without any top-rated schools ($210,662), the study found.

The metro areas with the most unaffordable ZIP codes with top-rated schools were in Los Angeles; New York; San Francisco; Chicago; San Diego; Riverside-Bernardino, Calif.; Seattle; Miami; Denver; Sacramento, Calif.; and San Jose, Calif.

“Neighborhoods with the ideal combination of good schools and relatively affordable home prices are very competitive for buyers,” says  Lydia Creasey, associate broker with RE/MAX Alliance in Denver. “At the very least, buyers in these markets need to be pro-active and act quickly as soon as a new home hits the market, and in some cases buyers in these neighborhoods have either had to settle for a less-updated or smaller home or increase their price range.”

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