Zillow launches new feature for home search by school district

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Real estate search portal Zillow launched a search by school feature on Wednesday that allows homeshoppers to filter for homes for sale or rent within specific school zones or districts.

“Nearly one-third of homeshoppers have children younger than 18, making ‘search by school’ an important feature on the Zillow app,” Nicholas Stevens, vice president of product at Zillow, said in a statement. “We understand the perfect home often extends beyond the property itself, and this feature makes it easy for shoppers to explore homes for sale or for rent in their desired school districts.”

Found in the Zillow search bar, the search by school feature provides auto-complete suggestions for schools and districts based on the user’s search history. The feature is currently available on Zillow’s iOS mobile app and will roll out onto Android platforms by the end of 2023. It will be available on the web in 2024.

Once homeshoppers select a school district, the app will display school attendance zone boundaries and homes available for rent or for sale within those boundaries. Any searches for open enrollment or charter or private schools that do not have assigned boundaries will show homes within a five-mile radius of the school.

Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report, which draws on data pulled between April and July 2023, shows that living in a preferred school district is important for a significant number of homebuyers.

Buyers in their 30s were especially apt to feel that buying a home in a certain school district was important, with 75 percent noting its importance in their home search. Sixty-seven percent of buyers in their 40s and 61 percent of first-time buyers also considered school district a very important factor in their home search.

In 2021, 68 percent of buyers with kids under the age of 18 said school districts were important to their home search, compared to just 20 percent of buyers who did not have children, according to Zillow’s data. The percentage of homebuyers who felt school districts were important remained at about 43 percent from 2018 to 2021. In 2023, there was a jump in that preference to 52 percent of buyers who felt school district was important, showing this to be a growing area of interest for homebuyers.

Redfin, Realtor.com and Homes.com allow users to enter a school name into their search bar, rather than a city or zip code, if users choose, to streamline the home search process according to their preferred school district.