Parents will go to any length to make the school run shorter – even if it means paying more for their property. The Rural department of Rettie & Co Scotland reports substantial demand for country properties which are in close proximity to good schooling. Areas boasting good schools such as Edinburgh, Balerno and North Berwick have always commanded high prices but according to Retti & Co, the trend is spreading to other areas.

In particular agents have witnessed a substantial increase in sales for properties around Dollar, Clackmannanshire with substantial premiums being paid for good quality family accommodation within close proximity to the prestigious Dollar Academy.

Since the beginning of 2006 properties sold in and around Dollar have increased by 25%, according to Rettie Rural, with the predominant interest coming from parents wishing to move closer to the school. The Walled Garden, a five bedroom house near Dollar is currently on the market at offers over £945,000.

‘We are noticing that with the ever-increasing demands on parents’ time created by their children’s after school activities, fewer are wishing to use up the day with a long school run,’ said Alastair Houlden, a sales agent with Rettie & Co.’s Rural department, ‘It certainly appears that property and schooling choices now form part of the lifestyle decision-making process.’