The number of houses sold in July increased by 21% on the previous month with first-time buyers helping to push up activity, according to a report.
Buying a home in Scotland cost £145,622 on average, down slightly from June's figure.
The first-time buyer market is "moving more freely" than in England with sales up 9% so far this year, said property experts.
The seasonally adjusted average house price fell 0.3% in July, showed the latest LSL/Acad Scotland House Price Index.
Of the 32 local authority areas, 12 have seen property prices rise over the year. Clackmannanshire recorded the biggest increase at 19.3% to take the average cost to £141,704, while Edinburgh remains the most expensive area to buy a home at £224,754 on average, up £14,000 since July last year.
Gordon Fowlis, regional managing director of estate agency chain Your Move, said: "Life for first-time buyers in Scotland has improved markedly this year. There have been 1,100 more loans to new buyers so far this year than in the equivalent period last year. This has helped push up activity throughout the whole market with July seeing 1,529 more sales than June.
"While it isn't all sunshine and roses just yet, first-timers in Scotland can at least take solace from the fact life is comparably better for them than their English and Welsh counterparts. It's been easier for Scottish buyers to access mortgages this year and, given we're in the middle of a double-dip recession, it augurs well for the future.
"New buyers in England and Wales have to stump up £22,000 more on average than Scottish buyers to get a loan which is a major reason why the Scottish first-timer market is moving more freely."
But Mr Fowlis warned that first-time buyer numbers are still only 46% of the amount before the 2008 economic crisis.
"Some may believe that prices have fallen about as low as they can and that the only way they can head now is up," he said. "The improvements in sales we've seen this year are admittedly only tentative steps on a long road to recovery. But if sales can continue on their upward trajectory over the coming months, prices will rise as demand begins to outstrip supply."