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Parents Pay Premium to Live in Best Catchment Areas

New research from Bank of Scotland has revealed that Scottish parents are prepared to pay a premium of as much as £80,000 on average to live in the catchment area of a top performing state school.

According to the research, the average cost of a house near one of Scotland’s Top 20 performing state schools is £249,635, compared to the Scottish average price of £169,552.

In three of Scotland’s local authorities, the premium to access a top performing school is more than £100,000, when compared to their surrounding areas.  

Parents in Edinburgh are paying the most, with the catchment for St Thomas of Aquin's High School attracting a premium of £145,022, against the local authority average of £232,357. House prices near Boroughmuir High School, which comes fourth in the Top 20 state schools overall, are now on average £354,378, a premium of 53%.

House buyers in East Dunbartonshire will pay a premium of £107,759 to live near its top performing schools, while in Aberdeen City that figure is £103,283.

Despite the additional cost, living near a top performing state school also appears to be a shrewd investment based on house price performances in these areas over the last five years. Parents who bought a home near one of the Top 20 schools in 2011 have seen an average house price rise of £32,817, from £216,818 to £249,635 in 2016 – an increase of 15%. This is a significantly faster rise, in cash terms, than in Scotland as a whole, where the average house price has grown over the same period from £141,905 to £169,552 – an increase of £27,647.

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