A fascinating story in Sunday’s New York Times provides proof that school test scores make a huge difference in home prices, even within our tiny town.
Based on “new study by seven professors and students at Trinity College,” the story says the data proves that “prices within a town can fluctuate, even by neighborhood, based on the strength of the local elementary school,.”
Using information from 8,736 home sales between 1996 and 2005 in West Hartford, the study “examined the relationship between grade-school test scores and home prices” in each of the town’s 11 elementary school districts.
It found that as test scores rose, so did home prices “in specific and predictable increments.”
“In fact, every 12-percentage-point difference in scores on the Connecticut Mastery Tests, the standardized exams that students in Grades 3 through 8 take every year, is worth $5,065 to those buying or selling a home, according to the study, called ‘School Choice in Suburbia: Public School Testing and Private Real Estate Markets.’ the study determined.
As a result, the study found that the Bugbee district, which has homes that closely resemble those in the Whiting Lane district, has higher home prices because students at Bugbee score about 12 points higher on the CMTs.
Read the story. It’s fascinating.
There is in this, of course, all the proof that any rational person should need that spending money to improve our schools leads directly to higher home values. Let the scores slip and so do home prices.
People can complain all they like about property tax bills, but the reality is that we either pay for our schools through taxes and have great education for our kids or we pay for our schools through falling home values and have a lesser education for our kids. It’s as simple as that.
The only choice we don’t have is to keep housing prices up and taxes down. It ain’t happening, folks, however much we’d all like to have chocolate truffles growing on every dandelion.
If anyone can find a working link to the study, please post it!