A NEW "ray of confidence" is shining through the Scottish property market after the uncertainties brought about by the independence referendum evaporate, estate agents have said.

House prices are heading back towards their pre-recession peak of May 2008 and jumped by 0.7 per cent in October to an average of £164,798, just £717 below the top figure recorded before the global financial downturn.

The potential impact of the incoming switch from stamp duty to a new Scottish Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) is also spurring growth, especially at the top end of the market where buyers will face paying more when the new regime comes into force in April.

There were 23 sales of £1 million-plus houses, which was 12 more than the previous month and the highest number of such properties sold in a single month since September 2008.

Experts said this showed there was a "feelgood factor" returning to the property market, despite it heading into a traditionally quiet time of year for buyers and sellers.

Christine Campbell, regional managing director of Your Move, said: "Thousands of Scots are finally seeing the value of their home rebuilt from the ashes of the financial crash.

"Since the independence question evaporated, a new ray of confidence and certainty is radiating through the market as normality is resumed.

"The feelgood factor is especially pronounced at the highest tiers of the property market, where political uncertainty froze activity most acutely.

"After a run of monthly house price stumbles on the way to the landmark referendum, the Scottish property market has recuperated."

House prices rose in almost two thirds of Scotland's council areas during October, according to the latest data from LSL Property Services/Acadata's monthly survey of the market. East Dunbartonshire experienced the biggest monthly increase of 5.8 per cent, taking the average cost to £223,146.

Edinburgh remains the most expensive area to buy a home, with an average cost of £239,335 following a 0.2 per cent monthly increase.

There was a slight fall in the average price of residential property on Glasgow, down from £134,237 in September to £134,018.

However, Peter Williams, housing market specialist and chairman of Acadata, said there were reasons to be cheerful about the overall picture.

He said: "This was the 10th of the last 12 months in which house prices have risen, with falls limited to the months of August and September - the two months which straddled the referendum and the resultant uncertainty that defined the period."

Mr Williams added that the LBTT will have a "significant impact" on the high-end sector.

He said: "On a property costing £1 million there will be an additional £33,550 of tax payable, with this level of tax increasing as prices paid for a property also increase.

"There is therefore likely to be a surge in the number of high-value properties that change hands between now and the end of March 2015 as purchasers seek to avoid the additional tax that will become payable after the tax change-over date."

Dr John Boyle, director of research and strategy at estate agents Rettie & Co, said: "We have sold more property in Edinburgh in the fist week of December than we sold in the whole of September, so you can see the impact the referendum had.

"There is also the impact of the tax changes and we are seeing buyers bringing forward transactions and giving impetus to the market."