HOUSE prices are on the up in south Essex in a trend that looks set to continue into 2014.

New figures, from property analysts Hometrack show homes with SS postcodes – including those in Basildon, Southend, Rayleigh, Rochford and Wickford – are up an average of 6.8 per cent.

Average property prices in Thurrock are up 5.8 per cent year-onyear, while Billericay has seen an increase of 7.2 per cent.

Balgores Property Group reckon house prices in Basildon have gone up a whopping 12.5 per cent throughout this year.

The figures come as Hometrack revealed Essex is in the top ten boom places across Britain – with average property prices going up 5.3 per cent in 2013.

Mike Gray, managing director of Southend-based property consultants Dedman Gray, said: “The information from Hometrack is an accurate assessment of the market in south Essex, in particular Southend, Rochford and Castle Point.

“Like anything, with an increase in demand and activity, it is soon followed by an increase in price being achieved – and it looks as though it will continue to rise in the beginning of next year.

“The recent Government mortgage scheme for first-time buyers has also added to an increase in demand.”

But fears have been raised that renters may face the brunt of a housing bubble, with average rent prices already soaring due to increased demand.

First-time buyers have been assisted by Government schemes, such as Help to Buy, which gives people with deposits as low as 5 per cent a helping hand on to, or up, the property ladder.

This has been cited as the reason for prices rocketing.

Managing director of Balgores property group Martin Gibbon said: “The economy has turned a corner undoubtedly. It’s all about supply and demand.

“There are not enough properties to buy, or rent.

“There’s 40 per cent less on the market year-on-year.

“It’s a worry. If there’s not enough to buy or rent you can ask what you like for it.

“Also interest rates are ridiculously low, which potentially will be a problem when interest rates do go up.”