Scottish house prices rise to record quarterly figure
Property prices rose sharply in Scotland between January and March, according to official figures from Registers of Scotland (RoS).
The average house price climbed year-on-year by 13.3% to £173,830 - the highest quarterly figure since since RoS began compiling statistics in 2003.
The value of sales rose year-on-year by 8% to £2.95bn.
However, the total volume of sales across Scotland fell by 4.7% to just under 17,000.
All local authority areas in Scotland showed a rise in average prices.
The highest percentage rise was in East Lothian - up 28.6% on the same period a year ago, to an average of £248,902.
West Dunbartonshire showed the largest percentage rise in the number of sales, with an increase of 10.6%.
The biggest percentage decrease was in Midlothian, which dropped 28.1% to 233 residential house sales.
The City of Edinburgh recorded both the highest average for the quarter at £260,647 - a rise of 21.4% - and the highest volume of sales, with 2,123.
It also accounted for Scotland's largest market value, with sales of just over £553m for the quarter, an increase of 29.2% on the previous year.
All property types showed an increase in average house price, with semi-detached properties recording the largest increase at 15%.
RoS head of data Hugh Welsh said: "We've seen sustained growth in house prices throughout the 2014-15 financial year, with January to March's figures representing the highest quarterly increase in average price since quarter one of 2007-08.
"Future sales statistics will determine whether this is a one-off spike in quarter four average prices, or whether this is a trend that will continue."
Reacting to the figures, Aberdein Considine senior property partner Bob Fraser said he believed the figures were a one-off spike caused by a rush to beat the new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).
LBTT, which replaced stamp duty in Scotland, increased the tax burden on larger homes from 1 April.
Mr Fraser said: "These figures are for registered sales, and are therefore indicative of the market at the turn of the year.
"What we have here is a larger percentage of sales coming from the top end of the market, which drives up the average sale price."