A few metres of asphalt can make a $200,000 difference to a home's price tag on the fringes of Auckland's desirable Grammar zone.
Auckland property analyst Stephen Hart has crunched the sales figures and revealed the astounding premium paid for the right to enrol your child in a reputable state school.
The premium is almost as much as the $215,000 in fees it would cost to send your child to the private King's preparatory and college for seven years.
Hart says high demand from parents could be the zone's death knell. "As more people go to Auckland Grammar, at some point it's got to stop. The Government has to say okay, we can't have 60 people to a class, so you build a new school."
Harcourts estate agent James Marshall says just being in the Auckland Grammar zone can add around $150,000 to the price. For some houses that sit inside both the Auckland Grammar and overlapping Epsom Girls' Grammar catchment area, the premium can be as high as $300,000. Marshall says no matter the premium, some parents will fork out.
"Some people absolutely want double Grammar zone, not negotiable." Barfoot agent Diana Buczkowski said a $200,000 premium was common on full sections. It was around half that for a townhouse.
Mark Copplestone had been living in Mt Eden just outside the zone. He said his family moved for the sake of their daughters' education.
"It was a toss-up between investing money in a private school or investing that money in a property and moving to the Grammar zone and getting a better class of education."
They were in Bellwood Ave in the Mt Albert Grammar School zone. Copplestone believed the premium on in-zone housing had probably fallen slightly but was still over $100,000.