Atlanta Homebuyers Willing to Pay for Charter School Options

By GCSA

As we noted in an earlier blog post, the presence of a good public charter school has an impact on home sales in Metro Atlanta and also drives economic development.  Now a study from Georgia State University confirms it.

Yesterday, education reporter Maureen Downey featured the study, Willing to Pay: Charter Schools’ Impact on Georgia Property Values, on her blog, and a news story by the AJC’s Ty Tagami also reported on it.

Written by Carlianne Patrick, of the Fiscal Research Center at GSU’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, the report documents an average 10% rise in home values in Atlanta neighborhoods that have priority admission at startup charter schools.  

Examples of such charter schools include; Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, Drew Charter School, The Museum School of Avondale Estates, and schools in the KIPP Metro Atlanta network.

All charter schools have attendance zones, but some schools in Metro Atlanta have established priority zones within their larger attendance zone to reflect local community needs.

Because they are public schools, charter schools are open to all children, do not charge tuition, and do not have special entrance requirements. However, when the number of students who want to go to a charter school exceeds the number of seats available, admissions are done by a lottery. For this reason, living in a “priority attendance zone” increases a student’s chance of getting in.

From the report’s introduction:

While there is an extensive literature on charter school achievement outcomes, relatively little is known about how the general public values these schools. Charter schools’ effects on local property values can help reveal this. If households value access to charter schools, then demand for homes in locations that provide additional access to charter schools will rise. Increased demand in the area raises the price for residences in the area. Georgia presents a unique opportunity for analysis. Unlike most charter schools in the United States that have diffuse attendance areas, 13 metro-Atlanta charter schools have priority admission zones within their designated attendance zones. This report explores this unique feature of metro-Atlanta charter schools to identify the change in single-family residential transaction values associated with conversion and start-up charter schools. The results suggest households are willing to pay a premium for the increased probability of admission to charter schools in priority one admissions zones. Estimates range from 7-13 percent, with an average increase in sales prices of approximately 10 percent. 

Good public schools have always been a factor in home sales and are historically upward drivers of home valuation. This study suggests that successful public charter schools now compete with traditional public schools in this arena.

[The views and opinions expressed on CharterConfidential are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.]