Registers of Scotland reports surge in house sales
House sales surged in Scotland in the final three months of last year, according to official figures.
Registers of Scotland (RoS) revealed that residential sales climbed year-on-year by 14.5% between October and December.
A total of 28,779 properties were registered - the highest number for any quarter since 2008-09.
House prices also rose by 1.6% over the period, to stand at an average of £167,734.
It was the highest figure for any third quarter since RoS began compiling quarterly statistics in 2003.
RoS said the latest figures indicated "a more robust and active property market".
Volume and price
The highest percentage rise in volume of sales was recorded in Midlothian, with an annual increase of 30.2%.
The City of Edinburgh recorded the highest number of sales at 3,532, up by 21.4%.
The largest percentage drop in sales was in Aberdeen City, which fell by 12% to 1,274 homes.
In terms of price, the highest percentage rise was in Inverclyde, where prices climbed 13.1% to £132,382.
The City of Edinburgh held the highest average price at £233,255, a rise of 3.2% on the previous year.
The largest percentage fall was in Dumfries and Galloway, which showed a drop of 9.9% to an average price of £130,275.
The total value of sales across Scotland registered between October and December increased by 16.3% to just under £4.83bn.
This was the highest total for any quarter since 2008-09.
The City of Edinburgh remained the largest market with sales of just under £824m for the quarter, an increase of 25.3% on the previous year.
Aberdeen City had the largest decrease in overall market value - down by 13.6% to about £273m.
All property types showed an increase in sales volumes, with flats showing the biggest increase at 18.4%.
Bob Fraser, senior property partner at solicitor estate agents Aberdein Considine, said the figures were "the best snapshot of the market to date".
He said: "The third quarter is usually the busiest and therefore accurately reflects the property market.
"The increase in activity is very encouraging and shows the continued recovery in the general Scottish market.
"Edinburgh continues to improve while areas such as East Ayrshire show a dramatic increase in values indicating a wider geographic spread in activity.
"Particularly heartening is the strength of the flat market which in turn traditionally drives the upper market."