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Parents pay £41,000 premium to live near top schools

20th September 2017 Print

Parents in Scotland need to pay an average of £41,441 more to live in the catchment area of a top performing state secondary school, according to new research from Bank of Scotland.

The research, which looks at house prices near Scotland’s top 20 performing state schools shows that the average cost of a house near one of these schools is £231,476. As a result, house buyers are paying a premium of £41,441 (22%), when compared to houses in surrounding areas (£190,035).

However, parents don’t always have to pay a premium to live near a top school

Top performing Jordanhill School in Glasgow comes with a house price premium of only £3,521 (2%) and houses near eight of the top 20 schools actually cost less than the average for the local authority that they are in. St Luke’s High School in East Renfrewshire comes with the biggest discount of £100,291 (-40%) followed by both St. Ninian’s High School and Lenzie Academy, both in East Dunbartonshire, with a discount of £55,369 (-24%).

The second best performing school, St. Ninian’s High School (the one in East Renfrewshire) comes with a premium of £16,659 (7%), third placed Mearns Castle High, comes with a slightly higher premium of £36,291 (15%) and fourth placed Williamwood High comes with a discount of £14,091 (-6%). All three schools are located in East Renfrewshire.

Rounding out the top five is Cults Academy in Aberdeen with a staggering house price premium of £102,497, 52% higher than houses in the surrounding area.

Not surprisingly, the most expensive area featured in the top 20 is Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh with an average house price of £365,804. This is £121,952 (50%) more expensive than the surrounding area.

Graham Blair, mortgages director at Bank of Scotland said: “When buying a home, parents understandably want their children to be close to a top performing school. In areas such as Edinburgh and Aberdeen, the price tag for a house close to the best state schools is unsurprisingly large. However, in other areas, particularly East Renfrewshire, this doesn’t appear to be the case with three of the top five schools being reasonably affordable, or even cheaper than houses in the surrounding area.”

Average house price grows by £45,493 since 2012 in areas with a leading state school

Living near a top performing state school appears to be a shrewd investment based on house price performances over the last five years. Parents who bought a home near one of the top 20 schools in 2012 have seen an average house price rise of £45,493 (from £185,983 in 2012 to £231,476 in 2017) – an increase of 24%.

The biggest increases in prices in the top 20 have been in East Dunbartonshire where the average price of a house in the catchments for Bearsden Academy and Boclair Academy has grown by 37% over the last five years from £219,097 in 2012 to £299,577 in 2017.