The annual rate of house price inflation now stands at 22.4%, more than the UK average of 11.1%, according to the Bank of Scotland’s figures for the first quarter: prices in Scotland rose by 7.5% in Q1 2007, the biggest price rise in the UK.

This puts the price of an average house in Scotland now at £138,655, nearly 40% less than the UK average of £192,314.

The most remarkable increases ? 30% year on year – came in Galashiels, in the Borders and Johnstone in Renfrewshire. Edinburgh, Scotland’s most expensive place to buy a house, was also up, by 11%.

The Bank also found that there are now no longer any towns in the UK where the house price average is under £100,000. Lochgelly in Fife was previously such a place, but inflation now puts its average house price at £104,738.

Tim Crawford, Group Economist at Bank of Scotland said: ‘Because of this large increase in prices over the past year, the gap between prices in Scotland and London has narrowed to 2.1 times, down from 3 times in the first quarter of 2003.

‘Prices have risen more than earnings in Scotland in recent years, so a natural cooling is anticipated: we are forecasting that house prices will have risen by a more sustainable 7% over the course of 2007.’