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6 Great Public High Schools and Surrounding Apartment Markets

Apartment Markets Vary

By Carl Whitaker | Friday, September 2, 2016

Back to school – the time of year that leaves kids groaning and parents cheering. That is, of course, if parents have solidified their living arrangements for the coming year.

Looking for a new place to rent can be a challenging process for families on the move, but with an increasingly fluid workforce and an increasing number of jobs being created, families are moving more often than before.

Finding the best possible school district is typically one of – if not the absolute – most important factors parents take into consideration when looking for a new apartment. Parents aren’t the only ones that should bear in mind the quality of nearby school districts, as developers and investors can leverage top-notch school districts to achieve maximum potential.

Axiometrics compiled a list of some of America’s highest ranked public schools and analyzed the apartment markets in these areas. These high schools were among the highest ranked on U.S. News and World Report’s annual “Best High Schools” report.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Fairfax County Public Schools; Alexandria, VA)

Fairfax County’s proximity to Washington, DC makes the school -- where President Barack Obama signed theAmerica Invents Act in 2011, as pictured above -- an attractive option for those who may have just landed a job in the nation’s capital – not an unrealistic scenario considering the area has added 71,000 annual jobs as of June 2016 (2.7% growth).

The average rent for an apartment in the Fairfax County school district was $1,795 in July 2016 – only $81 more per month than the average for the DC metro. Properties within the district are also less occupied (92.4% occupancy) than the greater DC metro (96.0% occupancy), which means finding an apartment in this district may not prove as challenging as many other areas within DC.

New properties within the Falls Church/Annadale submarket have leased up quickly over the past year (an average of 26 units per month), and a relatively small number of identified deliveries by the end of 2016 hints that apartments near the Thomas Jefferson High School may see increased occupancy throughout 2017.

Arizona College Prep–Erie Campus (Chandler Unified School District; Chandler, AZ)

Chandler is a suburb located roughly 25 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix and, like many suburban Phoenix areas, has experienced a steady population increase since the early 2000s. Phoenix’s population growth has certainly been helped by its steady job growth in recent years, and as of June 2016 the MSA had 3.6% annual job growth.

The average rent for properties within the Chandler Unified school district is $1,082. This is $121 higher than the Phoenix MSA ($961), and Phoenix is among the hottest apartment markets in the nation. The Chandler/Gilbert area is a strong market for investors, with 6.9% rent growth, slightly higher than the metro number.

Rent growth in Phoenix can also be attributable to the scarcity of new deliveries in the market as a reaction to the housing crisis. Phoenix was one of the hardest-hit cities from a development perspective as very little new supply was delivered between 2011 and 2013. Supply (i.e. new apartment properties) has since picked up and is being quickly absorbed, largely due to the market’s job growth.

Whitney High School (ABC Unified School District; Cerritos, CA)

Cerritos is a part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Metropolitan Division, but the city’s proximity to Anaheim – located only 11 miles east of Cerritos - makes that 

Orange County city a more easily accessible employment center than Los Angeles. As such, the Anaheim metro division’s job growth (3.2% annual growth as of June 2016) means many families may be looking for new schools within the ABC Unified school district.

The average rent in the Los Angeles metro division is $2,241 while rent in the Anaheim metro division ($2,013) is more affordable. Compare both of these numbers to the $1,901 rent for properties within the ABC Unified school district, and families looking to rent within the district will be saving $112 per month at minimum. 

Early College at Guilford (Guilford County Schools; Greensboro, NC)

Guilford County is home to Greensboro, a part of the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point MSA. Guilford County Schools is also home to the Early College at Guilford, one of the highest-rated high schools in the nation.  

Rent within the Greensboro MSA is one of the most affordable on our list at $780. The good news for renters in the Guilford County Schools district is that rent is only $13 higher per month than the MSA average. Further good news for renters is the low occupancy – 91.6% - within the district, which means finding an apartment will likely be fairly easy.

Greensboro’s fairly rapid growth has created the need for more apartments. Some 432 units are anticipated for delivery by the end of 2016, while an additional 431 are anticipated in 2017.

University High School (Tucson Unified District; Tucson, AZ)

Another Arizona-based high school – University High School – makes the list as one of the nation’s highest ranked high schools. Tucson is enjoying similar job U-High_Tucson.jpggrowth as Phoenix to the north, 3.5% as of June 2016.  Tucson is the most affordable of all our metros on the list with an average rent of $689 across the Tucson MSA. The average rent for properties within the Tucson Unified District is even cheaper at $679.Tucson is a lower-occupancy market (93.0% occupancy), and the average occupancy for properties within the Tucson Unified District is even lower (91.2%). Given this low occupancy, it comes as little surprise that no apartment deliveries have been identified for the Tucson market in 2017 or 2018. 

Pine View School (Sarasota County Schools; Osprey, FL)

Pine View School is located in Osprey, FL, which resides within the greater Sarasota County school district. Osprey is roughly the midpoint between St. Petersburg to the north and 

Fort Myers to the south, but is considered a part of the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

Rent in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton MSA averaged $1,195 in July, and investors are happy with the 5.2% annual effective rent growth. Apartments within the Sarasota County school district were comparable at $1,240 a month (a $45 difference), though rent growth there was below the MSA’s average, at 3.6%.

Rent for apartments in the Sarasota County district is higher than neighboring districts. Rent in surrounding districts ($1,170) is slightly lower than the MSA and $70 less than the Sarasota County district, hinting that the quality of the school district may be driving higher rental rates. 

Carl Whitaker

Carl Whitaker

Real Estate Analyst

Carl Whitaker is a Real Estate Analyst for Axiometrics.

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