East Ren still the des res of Scotland

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EAST Renfrewshire is the most expensive place in Scotland to buy a house, official figures show.

The latest data from the Register of Scotland, on the year’s first quarter, shows a dip in house prices from the previous quarter — although the same figures show a small annual rise on last year.

Homes bought between January and March cost, on average for Scotland, £148,764.

This number is a 1.7 per cent increase on the same period last year — however, it is a more significant dip from the prices registered during the last three months of 2011, for which the average was 5.4 per cent higher, equal to more than £8,000.

In previous years, East Ren has competed with the highest-priced areas in Scotland — but so far this year it has topped the bill, rising by 12 per cent to an average of £203,065.

Glasgow, meanwhile, remains below average at £123,345 — also a fall of 1.8 per cent on 2011 figures.

Douglas Nicol, director of Nicol estate agents in Newton Mearns, believes that the statistics are a result of good amenities in the area — and in particular, the high quality of schools.

He told The Extra: “It’s an area where people always desire to live, because of its accessibility, infrastructure and proximity to Glasgow’s city centre, airports and general amenities.

“You are never particularly far away from anything or anywhere”.

Mr Nicol continued: “East Renfrewshire is still very family orientated, and people move here as couples to start their family.

“Three of our schools are in the top ten in Scotland, and that’s over and above the private school provision, so many house hunters still move towards East Ren for the schooling facilities.

“And often, when the family has moved on, couples downsize but choose to reside in a street nearby, instead of leaving the area”.

It’s a list of priorities which Clarkston resident Lynda Chisolm, commenting on The Extra Facebook page, agrees with.

She said: “We chose our home for being so handy for good shops, buses, trains, a taxi rank at our doorstep, excellent schools.

“It’s not far from parks like Rouken Glen and Overlea and there are excellent sports facilities, as well as fabulous views.

“Nearing retirement, we are reluctantly needing to downsize but I can’t see us going too far afield, as there is no other place as good as home”.