PROPERTY prices across south Essex are holding firm, and may even go up, despite London experiencing another month-on-month drop.

House prices fell for the fifth consecutive month in the capital, this time dropping by a further 0.2 per cent - leaving the average house price at £297,398.

The dip, however, has seemingly not affected south Essex. And could, in fact, benefit home owners here.

Mike Gray, director at the real estate agent Dedman Gray, said: “There has been reports that there’s a slight downturn in house prices in London itself.

“However, looking at Southend and the south east area of Essex we have not seen a reduction in value. But we have seen, in recent months, a hardening in prices.”

Mr Gray is confident, over the next few months, house prices in Southend, Basildon and Castle Point will not waiver.

And he has a feeling the area could even end up in a stronger position.

With London house prices falling, buyers may well look to areas popular with commuters in south Essex.

He added: “We are staying level, and in some ways with London’s house prices going crazy it puts our area in a good position.”

The average house price in Basildon sits at £249,244 and £271,784 in Southend. Basildon has become a property hotspot due to its close commuting time to London.

Properties in Westcliff currently have an average a price of £282,343, while Canvey house prices are levelling out at £271,377.

A report by showed that between June 2007 and June this year, average house prices in Southend had increased, on average, by £85,000, in the past ten years.

Home owner, and mum-of-three, Kim Marcus, 56, of Canewdon Road, Westcliff, said the news was a bit of a double-edged sword.

She said: “It’s good that our home price is holding firm, I’ve been looking at releasing some equity soon so this is obviously welcome news.

“However my eldest son, who’s now 27, is struggling to get anywhere near the housing ladder with his girlfriend, and as long as things carry on like this it will be a while until they get on it.

“And they both have decent jobs with good salaries, it’s a sign of the times I guess.”