MY SCHOOL'S BETTER THAN YOURS: DOES DISTRICT MATTER WHEN RENTING?

by John Hill

In his presentation to the Big Country Apartment Association, John Hill - economist and real estate agent with Barnett & Hill - considered the impact of location and, more specifically, elementary schools on lease rate and days on the market for Abilene rent houses.  

In the presentation, NTREIS data for 5,380 leased properties dating back to August 1, 2008 was employed.  Since that date, rents in Abilene have increased, roughly, 3% per annum and inflation has risen by 1.5%. This translates to a 1.5% real increase in rents after inflation for Abilene landlords.

Inflation acknowledged, the value of location was evaluated using zip codes. According to the data, comparable homes in 79603 rented for, roughly, $15 less when compared to 79605, $30 less when compared to 79601, $50 less when compared to 79602 and $75 less when compared to 79606.

This data becomes more revealing when elementary schools are used to differentiate between locations.  After controlling for age and square footage, monthly rent for Wylie ISD homes is greater by the listed amounts when compared to homes served by these elementaries:

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Days on market was also considered in the context of property age, location by zip code and the home's elementary. While revealing, the statistical strength of these models were inferior to the first, more robust analysis. A pdf of the entire presentation can be accessed through this link.