The results are in for a RealtyTrac analysis of the home affordability in communities with good schools, and the news is not good. But for parents in Miami, there is a good chance of buying a reasonably priced home in a neighborhood that is served by a good school.

  • In a new RealtyTrac analysis, Miami was one of the top five metros for a combination of affordable homes near good schools.
  • Twenty zip codes in the Miami area also have good schools plus affordable homes.
  • Out of 1,823 zip codes analyzed that had at least one good school, 1,181 of those zip codes, or 65 percent, were out of reach for the average wage earner.

The results are in for a RealtyTrac analysis of the home affordability in communities with good schools, and the news is not good.

But for parents in Miami, there is a good chance of buying a reasonably priced home in a neighborhood that is served by a good school.

RealtyTrac used school test scores for nearly 27,000 elementary schools in more than 7,200 U.S. zip codes to determine what makes a “good school.” They then compared home price affordability in those same ZIP codes.

Miami came in the top five metros with the winning combination of affordable ZIP codes with good schools, with 20. Leading the pack was Chicago, with 179. The rest of that pack is Detroit (44), Phoenix (22), and Charlotte (18).

For the most part, the unaffordable districts are clustered around the West Coast, with a few scattered along the East Coast and Florida. The zip codes that fared best in this study are clustered inland.

The big picture result was that out of 1,823 zip codes that had at least one good school, 1,181 of those zip codes, or 65 percent,  were out of reach for the average wage earner. 

“Over the past decade there has been a focus on improving the South Florida public education system and we are seeing great results,” said Mike Pappas, CEO and president of the Keyes Company, in a statement.  

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“The Miami-Dade County public school system was awarded the prestigious ‘Broad Prize’ by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation in 2012 for the ‘Most Improved Urban School System,’ with neighboring Palm Beach County public schools as the runner up. Our overall median price for South Florida real estate is 20 – 30 percent lower than other major U.S. cities. This combination gives South Florida homeowners many good options to find good schools in affordable neighborhoods.”

School data is from 2014 from each state’s Department of Education. Test scores are based around the test average of each state with the state average being a score of 1. The higher above the state average the school is, the higher the grade.

Median price data is from publicly recorded sales deeds and mortgages for single-family homes and condos. Only ZIP codes with at least 50 sales of single family homes and condos in both 2014 and 2015 were included in the analysis. In some non-disclosure states, RealtyTrac used loan amounts and estimated property value at time of sale instead of the sale price.

Average wage data was for the first quarter of 2015, and came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Affordability was calculated based on the percentage of average wages to make monthly house payments on a median priced home, assuming a 10 percent down payment and 3.8 percent interest rate.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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