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Craig Pontey’s Blog – Schools In!

By Kenn Leong

Schools In!

March 27, 2014 by Craig Pontey

Have you ever found yourself in front of the television watching one of those programs about an Escape To The Country or moving somewhere new in the United Kingdom? While they might not win a BAFTA these shows do hold up a mirror to how most people priorities a move.

In particular I always take a keen interest of the ‘must have’ facilities that are on the buyers wish list as the search various options. High up on the list we will usually find the request for a good school and easy access to commuter transport. While neither of these is not a surprise it helps me illustrate how important schools are and always have been to the health of our local market in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. And alongside easy transport links it’s a combination that has strong local and now strong international appeal, as we see many buyers attracted to a good home and a geed education as a ‘package’.

In one recent survey I saw published almost 60% of high-end buyers indicated that when looking for a prestige home, that it’s proximity to good schools and a selection of universities heavily influenced where they might buy. And keep in mind that a reputation for either institution is never one that is created over night, it takes a long time, even 100 plus years.

It’s a trend that has become more important over recent years as parents seek a high level education for their kids. And when we deal with prestige buyers, we need to understand that such buyers have a high level of income and they can, and do pick and choose their locations. A well-regarded school or university will almost always influence these buyers, and it takes little effort to appreciate that the east is well served in this regard.

The Combination of Better Infrastructure

The importance of access to good schools is also matched by an expectation that related infrastructure will also keep pace with the buyer’s expectations. In our immediate neighbourhood we have work on the light rail soon underway, which will impact the University of NSW, where the University itself is also investing some $812,000, while a total of more than $6b is being spent by the entire sector in NSW, which is good news for the local economy because in the east we have so many suburbs that are close to the big university campuses.

However infrastructure also extends to what can be sometimes invisible, like information and communications that we take for granted in an advanced economy like Australia, but still as we continue to grow we must keep pace, and new developments in particular need to deliver bulletproof communications.

Sydney’s east has always been associated with quality of life and when we see more off-shore buyers looking at prestige quality homes, this includes an environment that has low crime rates, low pollution and good transport. And so while Bondi Beach always looks great on a sunny summers day, lets not overlook the value of these nuts and bolts issues.

Currently Melbourne rates top of the list among the most desirable cities in the world to live, Sydney is not far behind in third place, but if we want to keep or improve our rating then quality education and infrastructure will be important, and the east has a solid head start there that buyers do clearly appreciate.

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