HOUSE prices increased by 1.4 per cent in Fife in September, new figures show.

The boost contributes to the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area achieve 15.6 per cent annual growth.

The average Fife house price in September was £161,922, Land Registry figures show – a 1.4 per cent increase on August.

Over the month, the picture was better than that across Scotland, where prices decreased 0.4 per cent, but Fife underperformed compared to the 2.5 per cent rise for the UK as a whole.

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Fife rose by £22,000 – putting the area 13th among Scotland’s 32 local authorities for annual growth.

The best annual growth in the region was in Inverclyde, where property prices increased on average by 26.1 per cent, to £122,000. At the other end of the scale, properties in the Shetland Islands lost 7.4 per cent of their value, giving an average price of £169,000.

Owners of detached houses saw the biggest improvement in property prices in Fife in September – they increased 2per cent, to £298,983 on average. Over the last year, prices rose by 18.9 per cent.

Among other types of property: Semi-detached: up 1.4per cent monthly; up 16.2per cent annually; £170,468 average: Terraced: up 1.3per cent monthly; up 15.6per cent annually; £132,529 average: Flats: up 0.9 per cent monthly; up 11.5 per cent annually; £97,564 average

First-time buyers in Fife spent an average of £129,000 on their property – £17,000 more than a year ago, and £26,000 more than in September 2016.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £193,000 on average in September – 49.4 per cent more than first-time buyers.

Buyers paid 10.2 per cent less than the average price in Scotland (£180,000) in September for a property in Fife.

Across Scotland, property prices are low compared to those across the UK, where the average cost £270,000.

The most expensive properties in Scotland were in Edinburgh – £321,000 on average, and twice as much as in Fife.

Edinburgh properties cost 2.7 times as much as homes in East Ayrshire (£119,000 average), at the other end of the scale.

The highest property prices across the UK were in Kensington and Chelsea.

Report provided by Katie Williams, Data Reporter.