PROPERTY sales are booming in Scotland with more than £5 billion passing through the market between July and September this year.
Two areas of the country now have average house prices nudging above the quarter of a million pounds mark, the first time this has been recorded by the industry.
And house prices in Glasgow are said to have risen by 6 per cent during the same period, while leafy East Renfrewshire now boasts the highest average house price in the country.
According to independent research carried out by estate agents Aberdein Considine, Scottish property sales, average prices and market values all increased during the third quarter of the year, driven largely by buoyant city markets.
The average price for a home selling in East Renfrewshire reached £261,512 during, up 5.9 per cent on the same time last year, putting the Glasgow suburb just ahead of Edinburgh, which saw average prices rise 6.6 per cent year-on-year to £257,220.
Other areas experiencing house price growth included Perth and Kinross, where the average price has grown by 16 per cent since March, meaning a typical home in the region is worth £203,398, overtaking Aberdeen.
However, the Granite City recorded its first year-on-year average price increase since the oil and gas downturn, in a sign that the beleaguered market in the north-east is beginning to improve.
Neighbouring Aberdeenshire has also enjoyed an increase in sale volumes for consecutive quarters.
Douglas Telfer, Partner at Aberdein Considine in Glasgow, said that across the country as a whole, sales rose by more than 8 per cent year on year and are up almost £500million on the previous quarter.
He said: “The property market in Scotland is enjoying a spell of growth not seen since the halcyon days prior to the financial crash of 2007/08."
“More than 28,000 homes changed hands during the third quarter of the year, up nearly 4 per cent on the same period last year and almost 2,000 more than Q2.
“Just under 3,500 of these sales came in Edinburgh, the busiest property market in Scotland, with Glasgow a close second. And for the first time, Scotland has two areas where the average home will set you back more than a quarter of a million pounds."
He added: “This market buoyancy is best highlighted when you dig deeper into certain parts of the capital, where properties are making more money per month than the average Scottish professional footballer.
"Two-bedroom flats in Edinburgh's New Town and West End have shot up in value by an average of over £80,000 in the last year - more than £6,000 a month.”
However, Scotland’s Property Monitor, which includes independent market research, also revealed concerns about the Scottish Government’s second home levy, known as the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS).
The tax, brought in by the then Finance Secretary John Swinney in 2016, charges an additional 3 per cent levy on buy-to-let properties worth more than £40,000, on top of any other Land and Building Transaction Tax due.
The changes added an additional £6,000 tax to the purchase of a second property at £200,000.
More than six in ten people polled by Aberdein Considine and The Times said the additional tax has put them off investing in a second property.
Mr Telfer added: “This is consistent with the attitudes we’re seeing on the ground across our 19 offices and is what the tax was designed to do.
“However, the Private Rented Sector meets a significant portion of Scotland’s housing needs. If future landlords are being driven away, the government will need to match its appetite for additional taxation with similar vigour for house building – because the housing need is not going to go away.”