Scotland has seen the average price of a flat north of the border rise by 21% (or £285 a month) in the past seven years from £115,111 in the final quarter of 2009 to £139,075 in Q4 2016, according to the latest research from Bank of Scotland.
This increase is significantly greater than the 17% rise for all property types in Scotland over the same period. Semi-detached homes have recorded the next largest increase in average prices with a rise of £24,318 (18%) over the past seven years, and terraced homes the smallest rise of £9,395 (8%).
Across the UK as a whole, flats have been the best performing property type since 2009 in five out of the 11 regions: North (31%), North West (37%), Yorkshire and the Humber (30%), South West (33%) and Scotland (21%).
Semi-detached properties have seen the largest house price increase in Greater London (59%) and the South East (52%), a substantial difference to the 18% increase experienced by Scotland.
Flats (28%) and terraced houses (22%) continue to be the most popular property types in Scotland, representing half of all home sales in 2016. There have been some minor changes to this composition in the past seven years with flats falling (35% to 28%) and terraced homes increasing slightly (20% to 22%).
While flats remain the most popular property type with first time buyers, the proportion of sales has fallen over the past seven years from 51% to 37%. In contrast, terraced properties have risen in popularity with first time buyers, accounting for a quarter (26%) of purchases in 2016, up from 23% in 2009.
For the average home mover in Scotland, detached properties are the most popular choice and accounted for 30% of sales in 2016, up from 22% in 2009. Although flats were the most popular choice for home movers in 2009, accounting for 26% of sales, this figure dropped to 18% in 2016.
At an average price of £128,736, terraced homes are the most affordable property type in Scotland, followed by flats (£139,075) and semi-detached properties (£161,621). These prices are well below the UK average for these property types, with flats in Scotland being £104,861 cheaper on average.
There are four regions where flats are cheaper than Scotland on average; the North (£116,855), Yorkshire and the Humber (£124,734) East Midlands (£123,561) and the West Midlands (£125,161).
A typical terraced home costs less than in Scotland in only two regions – the North (£121,363) and Wales (£123,095).
Graham Blair, mortgage director at Bank of Scotland, said: “Of all the property types in Scotland, flats have had the largest increase in price over the last seven years, rising by a fifth to an average £139,075. Although they remain the most popular choice with first time buyers, we have seen a gradual decrease in the amount of sales over the years.
“There has been an increasing trend for home movers to choose detached homes over the past seven years, no doubt made easier by an increase in new housing developments being constructed across Scotland. With the age of the average first time buyer in Scotland being 32, the slight increase in family friendly detached and semi-detached property purchases is to be expected.”