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Scottish parents pay £73,000 premium for home near top state schools

Pedestrians browse advertisements for properties for sale in the window of an estate agent 

Parents need to pay an average of £72,973 more to live in the catchment area of a top performing state secondary school in Scotland, according to detailed research published today (sat).

The Bank of Scotland said average house prices in the communities covered by Scotland’s top 20 state schools have reached £277,134, a 36 per cent premium on the cost of homes in surrounding areas (£204,162).

This is a significantly higher difference than last year, when the gap was £41,441 on average or 22 per cent more than other properties within the same local authority.

The bank’s analysis attributed the surge to a change in the top 20 schools, with the six new entrants this year being sited in relatively expensive areas.

They included Hyndland Secondary School in Glasgow and James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh, which boast Scotland’s two most expensive catchment areas.

Homes in communities covered by the two schools cost 76 per cent and 69 per cent respectively more than the average in their cities.

The study also found there are four postal areas where house buyers have to pay a premium of more than £120,000, compared to just one last year.

These are Hyndland Secondary School in Glasgow (£121,090), Cults Academy in Aberdeen (£121,205) and James Gillespie’s High School (£173,783) and Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh (£137,801).

School catchment house price premiums generally tend to align to where we already know property is more expensiveBank of Scotland

Graham Blair, mortgages director at Bank of Scotland, said: "When buying a home, many parents want their children to be close to a top performing school, and school catchment house price premiums generally tend to align to where we already know property is more expensive, for example, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow.

"With the mix of top schools changing so much from last year, there is a risk that parents focused on school catchment areas could spend money on a property ~ only for the nearby school to drop out of the top performing list in the coming years. 

"Therefore, they may benefit more from buying in an area where the schools are consistently in top 20 but house prices trade at more of a discount."

The report ranked the schools according to the proportion of pupils who left with five or more Highers and Advanced Highers.

It said those who bought a home five years ago within one of the schools’ catchment areas will have seen the value of their property increase by an average of 30 per cent or £64,034. In 2013 the average house price was £213,101.

The largest growth over this period was recorded in the catchment area for James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh, where house prices have risen from £271,020 to £424,647 (57 per cent). 

This is followed by homes near Jordanhill School in Glasgow, where prices have surged by a half to £165,082, and those surrounding Douglas Academy in East Dunbartonshire (45 per cent).

However, the study also found that homes in five of the top 20 catchment areas cost less than the average property in the same local authority area.

They included St Ninian’s High School in East Renfrewshire, which is rated fourth best in Scotland, and where house prices cost two per cent less than the council average (£259,024).

The others are Bishopbriggs Academy (-19 per cent), Lenzie Academy (-23 per cent) and Turnbull High School (-19 per cent), all in East Dunbartonshire, and Woodfarm High School (- two per cent) in East Renfrewshire.

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