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Great Schools, Lofty Prices

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis August 18, 2014 07:14 AM

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Here's one reason home prices are so high here in Greater Boston: Great schools.

There's a direct correlation between awesome public schools and towns with high home prices, which tend to be double or triple the national average, writes Jed Kolko, Trulia's chief economist,in this blog post.

Moreover, towns with killer public schools have a relatively low percentage of families who choose to send their children to private academies.

OK, we kind of knew that already. But the communities Kolko uses to make his point are really interesting. Of the ten drawn from across the country, four are in the Boston area and all are in the western suburbs.

All get an 8 or higher on the GreatSchools rating system, with just a tiny percent of students option out of the local public schools, including Bedford, whose high school you can see above.

Here are the year-to-date median prices for the Boston area towns, courtesy of the Warren Group, that Kolko mentions: Boxborough, $635,500, up 30 percent; Newton (Auburndale), $939,000, up 9.8 percent; Wayland, $625,000, up 8.6 percent; and Bedford, $586,000, up 6.5 percent.

Overall, housing costs across the country average out at $136 a square foot. By contrast, the price per square foot in the Boston-area suburbs Kolko mentions range from $185 in Boxborough to $354 Auburndale, one of Newton's villages.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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