School Quality and Property Values
Any discussion of school taxes in our community should be informed by the facts available about the relationship between schools and property values. Our ability to keep our taxes low relies, in part, on our ability to maintain our property values. But don't take my word for it. Read the studies that demonstrate this fact for yourself:
The Lehigh Valley Research Consortium (LVRC) talked to hundreds of people all over the region in January 2013, asking them about the most important factors in choosing housing. People mentioned many things, but the quality of schools was the single most common—and most universally agreed upon—factor. This was true even for those who had no children. Read the full report here.
A June 2010 article in the Wall Street Journal interviewed real estate agents from around the country to learn that the recession hit homeowners in poor school districts far harder than it did homeowners in good school districts. Read the article here.
A May 2010 study by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have made similar findings. Their analysis also shows that school quality can be more important than even the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in determining a home's value. You can read the original study here.
A December 2009 study by a real estate investment fund shows that in Philadelphia, a 10 point increase in the test score performance of a school increased the value of a 900 square foot home by $4,500. You can read the original study here.
A June 2006 study conducted by scholars at Harvard, George Washington University, and Dartmouth college uses sophisticated statistical models to show "systematic differences in house prices along school boundaries." It also describes some of the reasons high quality schools contribute to high property values. You can read the original study here.