Previously, we’ve covered the topic of relocation and the best neighbourhoods for expats to stay in Singapore, but when it comes to relocation, there is one important factor that affects expat parents’ property selection: Their new house’s proximity to a good school, or rather, THE school that they want to send their children to. In Singapore, your area of residence plays a huge role in determining your children’s chances of getting into a particular school, as priority is given to those living nearby—within 1KM of your preferred school, in fact. According to Strait Times, research shows that if a school relocates, there is a significant price decline of 2.9% for private non-landed houses nearby. So is it well worth the price (and hassle) of securing a house in a good school district?
Before we proceed, it’s important for you to consider the type of education you want for your kids, which we have covered in the article Local Education: Is It The Right Fit For Your Expat Kids?, because it will affect where you want to stay, and of course, the prices. Once you’ve made your decision, let’s look at the three reasons we’ve listed in favour of paying a premium to live in a good school district, in no particular order.
Reason #1: You pay a premium for your house, but you get to save on other expenses
Purchasing a residency in a good school district may cost a fortune, but it is well worth it in the long run, when you realise that you don’t have to drive far to drop your children off at school before heading to work, and areas near schools are likely to have other amenities nearby to cater to the crowd, such as shopping malls, supermarkets, or restaurants. By paying a premium for a prime location, you also ensure that your kids receive a premium in education—provided your children get into the school you’re going for, not to mention that your children will have a harder time playing truant when school is nearby!
Reason #2: Placement in schools is determined by home-school distance
When it comes to enrolling your kids into the best schools in Singapore, things can get a little competitive. There are a few ways to increase your children’s chances of being accepted into a school:
- You have an older child who is already studying in that school or you have been a member of the alumni association for over a year;
- You have joined the school as a parent volunteer for over a year and given at least 40 hours of service;
- You live within 1KM of the school.
As an expat, the first two is likely out of the equation unless you have been living in Singapore for a while and have thoroughly planned for your children’s future by volunteering at your school of choice, which leaves you the third option: to relocate physically. There is no way around this, and forging an address like this lawyer, is liable to jail time.
For more information, check out the Ministry of Education (MoE), Singapore website.
Reason #3: Living in a good school district contributes towards good test scores
Granted, this is not a guaranteed causality, but think about it: Rich families can afford to buy houses near good schools, which also means that they have enough money to invest in their children, and potentially provide them with the capabilities and resources to achieve good test scores (tuition classes, revision books). Additionally, living in a good school district would put you and your family in a community that shares the same thoughts on education as opposed to living in a more rural area, as wealthier families would also choose to move into the area for the school. According to Strait Times, researchers have found that this prioritisation rule is more relevant in the private housing market than public housing market, due to the elitism associated with these schools, not to mention that in high-density public housing areas, families are more likely to be affected by noise pollution and traffic congestion.
Has this article helped you put the premium prices of houses in a good school district into perspective? If you are in the market for a house now and need more advice, feel free to consult our resident relocation expert or leave your questions in the comments below.
Cover image by ExpatEssentials