Going to great length and walking an extra mile to get children into popular schools are what some Singaporean parents did in the second half of every year when the registration of Primary One school enrolment kicks in every year. This phenomenon by and large has affected the prices of homes with some new launch condo residential projects made much sought after by eager parents due to their close proximity to popular schools.
There are altogether seven phases in the allocation system of Ministry of Education for registration of enrolment. The priority for first three phases namely 1, 2A(1) and 2A(2) is allocated for the registration of students having some affiliation with the schools. Such affiliations include children with siblings who are already students in the schools, whose parents and siblings are alumni of the schools, whose parents are members of advisory and management boards of the schools, and lastly whose parents are teaching staff in the schools.
The next two phases namely phase 2B and 2C are prioritised for children who are staying well within the stipulated distance from the schools of choice. Such distance based prioritisation works in such a way that for children who are staying within the one kilometre radius from the school are given the first priority followed by those who are staying between the radii distance of one kilometre to two kilometres. If the number of children are more than the available vacancies, the respective schools will conduct balloting exercise in front of all the parents concerned in the most transparent way. It is in this category of parents of whom some make preparations ahead in buying new condo launch residential properties and also existing old or new condominiums within that locality closed to the popular schools.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) had conducted research study by its two researchers who had tested the extend by which the distance-based criteria of school enrolment affecting the prices of some real estate residential properties nearby. In its study, primary school relocations of sixteen schools within a period of ten years were collectively tested for their effects of property prices when relocations occurred.
The findings of such interesting study indeed confirmed that homes situated well within the two kilometres radius of popular primary schools do command price premiums of quite a good significant proportions.
Interestingly, Singapore is not the only country where price discrimination exists. In Beijing, for houses located within the attendance zoning regulations, a study had established evidence that such houses command a premium of about seven percent in their prices.
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