Homes zoned for Melbourne’s most sought-after public schools are fetching up to $600,000 more than those just outside catchment areas, new research shows.


Real Estate Institute of Victoria data reveals parents are paying the biggest property premium to get their kids into Parkville’s University High School.


Homes inside the boundary fetched a median price of $1.395 million in the year to March 31 — $596,000 higher than the median for properties in a 1km radius outside it.


Median prices for homes within the McKinnon Secondary College, Cheltenham Secondary College and Frankston High School catchments were also $305,000, $150,000 and $114,000 higher than those just missing out.


The Box Hill High School, Mount Waverley Secondary College and Balwyn High School zones, all favoured by Chinese families, bumped up house prices too, as did top primary schools in Auburn and South Yarra.


REIV chief executive Geoff White says parents are increasingly choosing to shell out for public school-zoned houses rather than pay private school fees. With capital growth strong in the top school catchments, White says this is a smart investment.