In Beijing, where schools go, money follows.
In 2014 the Chinese capital changed policy; enrollment in public primary schools would be based entirely on students' home addresses, not their entrance exam results.
Since then, Chinese parents, who're already inclined to spend big when it comes to their children's education, have rushed to purchase properties close to the city's top schools.
Peter Zeng, 36, is preparing his five-year-old daughter to attend one of the best schools in Beijing. In September Zeng spent nearly 3.95 million yuan ($610,000) on a 46-square-meter (495 square-foot) apartment in the school district of Zhongguancun No.3 Primary School, a well-known school in Beijing.
Zeng, who calls himself white-collar middle class, told CNBC that his family lived in another three-bedroom apartment in the city and had no plan to move; purchasing the new apartment was solely to ensure his daughter would be admitted to the well-known school.
"We are not going to live there because the one-bedroom is too small," Zeng said. "I'm planning to rent it out, and then, apply [for] home mortgage loans for further investments."
Increasing your capital in China's capital
Zang's investment strategy on Beijing's properties has been profitable so far.
The average home price in China tripled between 2003 and mid-2008, but cooled in the second half of 2008 due to economic uncertainties brought by the global financial crisis. Then on November 9, 2008, China announced a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package, which stirred another housing boom and accompanying surge in debt that peaked in 2013, before the government initiated a series of measures to cool the property market.
In 2009, expecting Beijing's home prices to keep climbing, Zeng bought a two-bedroom apartment in Beijing's Shuangjing neighborhood for 1.8 million yuan ($280,000). He sold the two-bedder for 4.05 million yuan ($620,000) last year and was able to buy the school-district apartment in cash.
"With this property, I can now borrow 3 million yuan [$460,000] from the bank with an interest rate as low as 4.9 percent," he said. "It's like free money!"
Déjà vu of 2009?
Zeng said the current housing boom reminded him of 2009.