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£73k price premium demanded by homes near top Scottish schools

Parents seeking to live in the catchment area of a top performing state secondary school in Scotland are required to pay an average of £72,973 more, according to new research from the Bank of Scotland.

With the average price in areas close to the top 20 performing state schools having now reached £277,134, home buyers are paying an average premium of a third (36%) in comparison to houses in surrounding areas, where the average sits at £204,162.

The current premium is significantly higher compared to the previous year, when the top 20 Scottish state schools were commanding 22% more on average than other properties within the same local authority - a premium of £41,441. A significant contributor to this difference in premiums is due to a noteworthy change of the schools in the top 20 during the past year; with multiple new schools from relatively more expensive areas now listed in the top 20.

Two of the new entrants to the list currently top the table in first and second position as the most expensive school catchment areas; Hyndland Secondary School in Glasgow and James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh, costing an average of 76% and 69% more respectively than other homes in the same local authority, driving up the average premium. Of the six new entrants to the top 20 list this year, all of them fall within the top half of the most expensive school catchment areas.

Compared to just one the previous year, there are now four postal areas with a premium greater than £120,000; the largest of which is James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh (£173,783). The other three areas include another in Edinburgh, Boroughmuir High School (£137,801), as well as Cults Academy in Aberdeen (£121,205) and Hyndland Secondary School in Glasgow (£121,090).

Not all top performing schools demand a heavy cost

There are currently five catchment areas (eight the previous year) within the top 20 list where homes actually cost less than the average property in the same local authority. The best performing of these areas, rated fourth overall, is St Ninian’s High School in East Renfrewshire, where house prices cost on average £259,024; 2% less than other houses in the local authority. Another area located in East Renfrewshire is Woodfarm High School (-2%), with the final catchment areas being made up of Turnbull High School (-19%), Bishopbriggs Academy (-19%) and Lenzie Academy (-23%), all of which are located in East Dunbartonshire.

Five-year increase

On average, those who purchased a home within the catchment area of a school currently within the top 20 will have seen a 30% increase in value - equating to £64,034 - with house prices averaging at £213,101 back in 2013. The most considerable growth was in the catchment area for James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh, which saw a 57% increase.

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