HOUSE prices in Scotland have risen for a sixth month in a row, with the cost of the average home now exceeding £160,000.
Aberdeen has seen the largest annual growth - almost 12 per cent - of Scotland’s seven cities.
At local authority level, Inverclyde saw the largest yearly rise in prices at 16.1 per cent, according to figures from LSL Property Services and Acadata. High-end sales in Kilmacolm and Inverkip boosted the average, they said.
Inverclyde also recorded the largest sales increase, with terraced and semi-detached properties most popular among buyers.
Property prices have yet to match pre-recession levels but LSL’s House Price Index for February said “sustained growth” is taking hold, due in part to the UK Government’s Help to Buy scheme.
The average house price in Scotland rose £5,584 or 3.6 per cent in the last 12 months to £160,678.
Buyers can expect to pay the most for a home in Edinburgh, where the average property costs £229,253. Prices actually dropped 0.8 per cent in the capital last month but increased 3 per cent over the year.
Aberdeen is the second most expensive city at £211,489, followed by Stirling - where buyers can expect to spend an average of £192,143.
The house index recorded a 29 per cent increase in the number of properties sold in Scotland in the three months from December to February compared to the same period last year.
Gordon Fowlis, from Your Move estate agencies, part of LSL, said: “Help to Buy has been the spark driving the engine of recovery for the Scottish housing market.
“With sustained growth taking hold, there are now signs that the independence debate is less likely to rock the housing recovery boat.
“In a sign of the widespread revival, all seven Scottish cities have also seen price rises from last year. This urban renaissance is being driven by first-time buyers benefiting from Help to Buy, typically taking the plunge in vibrant cities.
“The debate is sure to ramp up in intensity as we edge ever closer to September and all eyes are on (Bank of England governor) Mark Carney’s next move for housing. But for now Scotland can simply revel in a revived property market.”
Mr Fowlis said there is, however, some uncertainty regarding the impact of a Yes vote on the banking sector.
He said: “The potential fiscal impact may be felt in mortgage accessibility and employment stability, which in turn could have a knock-on effect on housing.”