Wake County, N.C., study says year-round school calendars affect home prices

Wake County, N.C., study says year-round school calendars affect home prices

Homes in areas with year-round schools sell for less than those in areas served by schools with traditional calendars

Homes in the Wake County (N.C.) district that are assigned to attendance areas with year-round schools sell for lower prices than residences assigned to traditional-calendar schools, a study by RTI International and Elon University has found.

The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the study of residential real-estate transactions found that prices paid for homes assigned to traditional-calendar schools were 1.6 percent higher than amounts for similar homes assigned to year-round schools.

The authors of the analysis, which will be published in the December edition of Economics of Education Review, say the findings suggest that homeowners assigned to year-round schools pay a “statistically significant price penalty.”

The impetus for the study was the parental opposition that arose in 2007 when the rapidly growing Wake County district converted 22 schools to a year-round calendar. 

Katy Rouse, an assistant professor of economics at Elon University, says the findings suggest the preferences for a traditional school calendar are strong enough to have at least a short-term effect on home prices. But some real-estate agents says they are skeptical of the study.

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