California families priced out of housing in top school districts

Mortgage

Families looking to move this summer are taking a closer look at the quality of school districts. However, in California, that could be problematic.

Rents in some cities are significantly higher in areas with the best-rated schools over areas with low-rated schools, according to an article by Nadia Balint for Rent Café Blog.

Rent Café conducted a study of five of California’s large cities to see how the school districts affect rent prices.

From the article:

San Francisco maintains its reputation of being a very expensive city, with the highest overall rent prices of all 5 cities. The actual extra rent families would pay if they moved to a neighborhood with a top-rated school would be only $429 on average, 14% higher than renting in an area with poorly-performing schools. San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley, comes in second for highest rents overall, but rent prices seem to be uniformly dispersed across all school areas. The additional rent paid to live in a top-rated school district in San Jose is on average as little as $79 per month, merely 4% more than in a low-rated school district.

On the other hand, in Los Angeles, where the wealth distribution is more divided, rents increase 38%, or $617 per month in top school districts, according to the article. San Diego is relatively tame with increases of 21% in rent for areas with better schools. But there was one city that topped them all.

From the article:

Sacramento, however, was the biggest surprise of our study. Though overall rent prices in Sacramento are the lowest of all the 5 cities analyzed, for a family to move from a poor school district to a top school district would involve a huge financial sacrifice, as their housing cost would increase by a staggering 46%.

No one envies the plight of the homebuyers in California, who struggle against low inventory, high demand, and rising prices. Due to a recent rise in inventory, however, it could be getting slightly better.

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