Scotland sees a sharp rise in house sales
The number of Scottish homes changing hands rose sharply in the last quarter, according to the latest official figures.
Figures from the Registers of Scotland show the number of properties sold increased by 26.1% on the same period in the previous year.
A total of 25,579 properties were sold between October and December - the highest since 2008.
Prices also rose by 3.1% with the average property now costing £159,670.
The most expensive place to buy in Scotland was East Renfrewshire with the average cost of a purchase costing £222,906. Edinburgh had the highest number of sales with 2,951 properties changing hands, followed by Glasgow with 2,569 completed sales.
East Lothian recorded the highest percentage rise in prices with the average price jumping 14.9% from £182,330 to £209,566. The largest percentage drop in average house price was in Inverclyde, where values fell by 8.7% to £116,085.
Kenny Crawford, Registers of Scotland's director of commercial services, said: "The Scottish property market is definitely showing signs of improvement and renewed optimism, possibly partially fuelled by an influx of first-time buyers thanks to schemes such as Help To Buy.
"All property types showed an increase in average house price, the biggest being in detached properties, up 2.2%, with this type showing the biggest increase in sales volumes of 26.3%, followed by terraced properties up 26%".
The figures from the Registers of Scotland cover all property sales across the country, including those which do not involve a mortgage.