Buy-to-let Scotland

Scotland’s Top Schools Drive Up House Prices

The quality of state schools in certain areas of the country has long been admired. However, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that these schools play a huge role in driving up the house prices of their immediate surrounding residential areas.

Large numbers of parents are now choosing to spend their hard-earned salaries on a home that will ensure their children can attend a top performing comprehensive school, rather than choosing to opt for a fee paying private education, despite the fact they may have much greater choice of property types and location.

A recent Bank of Scotland report concludes that mums and dads will pay an average premium of £41,441 for a house in the catchment area of a leading state school. An identical house in a nearby area with less high attaining schools can be bought for a significantly lower sum.

The bank recently analysed house sales across the country but homed in on the condition of the market near the top 20 performing secondary schools across the country.

In Glasgow, a bungalow on the market for £565,000 in Giffnock, part of East Renfrewshire, within the catchment area for St Ninian’s Secondary School, one of Scotland’s top performing schools, sold for more than £700,000.

Trends such as this suggest that East Renfrewshire is pulling ahead of Edinburgh to become the most sought after property market in the country. Nearby schools such as Mearns Castle High School and Williamwood High School influence the similar rise in house prices in their surrounding areas.

Elsewhere in the city, in East Dunbartonshire, parents are paying a £71,040 premium, 31% higher than average, for the privilege of allowing their kids to attend nearby Bearsden or Boclair Academy

This is not simply an issue in the Central Belt, however. Residential areas around similarly well-regarded Cults Academy in Aberdeen see homes selling for an average of £102,497 which is 52% more than other parts of the city.

If you happen to be living in any of these areas currently, or have been keeping an eye on house prices in recent years, average house prices near the top 20 schools have risen from £185,983 in 2012 to £231,476 in 2017, an increase of 24% or £45,493 – this pattern is set to continue.

The sought-after nature of these properties by families looking for the best start in life for their children has put real pressure on the property market.

Competition for the best, most well placed homes is huge and buyers will often have to react quickly to put in the best offer. However, it is, of course, great news for anyone looking to sell in such attractive catchment areas.

This trend comes at a time when the generally low supply of available homes in Scotland is greatly outstripped by demand. A savvy property brain is required to get the best deal possible in the best location you can.