ESTATE agents say that the Scottish property market is at its "strongest" level for more than a decade after official figures revealed the price of an average house rose by £10,000 last year.

A report by Registers of Scotland found that the average price of a property in Scotland has increased by 7.3 per cent since January 2017, and now stands £148,512.

The rate house prices have grown has surpassed the rest of the UK, where property values rose by slightly less than 5 per cent during the same time, falling slightly at the turn of the year.

The growth has been driven by vibrant economies in the cities and a lack of supply in the market, with homes in sought-after locations and hotspots changing hands soon after going on sale for well above their asking prices.

Registers of Scotland Operations Director and Accountable Officer Janet Egdell said: “Average prices in Scotland continued their upward trend in January [and] have been steadily increasing each month since March 2016.

"The cumulative volume of sales for Scotland for the financial year to date – from April to November 2017 – was 72,842.

"This is an increase of 7.9 per cent on the equivalent year to date position for November 2016.”

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Number of house sales hits ten-year high

The biggest increases were found in East and West Lothian, where average prices rose by 13.9 per cent to £219,393 and 13.3 per cent to £156,149 respectively.

These areas have benefitted from large-scale housebuilding and are firmly in the attractive 'commuter belt' for Edinburgh.

Across Scotland, all property types showed an increase in average price in January 2018 when compared with the same month in the previous year.

Detached properties showed the biggest increase, rising by 8.6 per cent to £261,291. The average price of flatted properties showed an increase of 5.6 per cent to £105,590, the smallest increase of all property types.

The average price in January 2018 for a property purchased by a first time buyer was £119,174 – an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to the same month in the previous year.

Faisal Choudhry Director of Scottish Research and Residential Research at Savills, said the figures reflected "good news" in the Scottish economy.

He said: "The Scottish housing market enjoyed good growth across 2017 and now we're seeing it catch up with the rest of the UK.

"Traditionally, levels of house price growth have lagged behind other regions, but it has now picked up thanks to the strength of the economies in the cities.

"There is a also a lack of supply in the city hotspots which has been driving up house prices. Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen have all experienced this."

He added: "What's happening is that buyers are realising the excellent value in the Scottish housing market and the excellent quality of life that can be found here, meaning that properties do not stay on the market for long."

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Across the UK, the average house price was £226,000, marking a 4.9 per cent increase on a year earlier, according to the figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In England, house prices increased by 4.6 per cent over the year to January, with the average price in England now £242,000.

Wales saw house prices increase by 4.5 per cent over the previous 12 months to stand at £153,000.

Within England, the East Midlands showed the highest annual house price growth, with a 7.3 per cent increase.

Richard Snook, senior economist at PwC, said: "Regional trends, which can be volatile, show a mixed picture."

He continued: "We are expecting UK-wide house price inflation of around 4 per cent in 2018."