THE booming housing market in south Essex continues to grow with the cost of buying a new home rising by up to 14 per cent in the past year.

Average house prices in Essex have reached nearly £350,000, up 14 per cent on last year.

Basildon is seeing phenomenal growth with house prices rocketing by 70 per cent since 2008 and the average home costing £264,379.

The average three-bedroom house price in Basildon stands at £264,379 compared to £155,000 in 2013.

Trevor Crowe, branch manager at Balgores in Basildon, said: “I think people have been outpriced in other areas so they have come to Basildon.

“Two train stations along and you’re in Upminster and the average house price there is massive compared to here.

“There’s been a lot of improvement in Basildon and there’s been new developments and people love a new house.

“We’ve got a nice shopping centre, the A130 with good links to North Essex and there’s been a massive increase since 2008.”

House prices have rapidly risen in Basildon with the average starter home now worth £135,610 compared to £125,100 in February due to growing demand and a number of new developments in the area including Acacia Park in Gloucester Park and Morello Quarter in Cherrydown East.

Michael Whitehead, sales negotiator at Appointmoor estate agents in Southend, says house prices continue to rise in the area by up to 15 per cent with four bedroom properties in Leigh and Chalkwell selling for between £600,000 and £1million.

The estate agents saw an 11 per cent rise recently when they sold a four bedroom detached house in Chalkwell for £750,000 compared to a similar property going for £675,000 the year before.

Part of the reason for the rising prices is the area’s links to London.

Mr Whitehead said: “Prices are definitely rising and I think there’s a lot of buyers coming to the area from London.

“You’ve got people selling a studio flat in London and coming here to buy a four bedroom house.

“They’re willing to do that and then commute into the city.

“Another big draw is the seaside, you take it for granted when you’ve lived here all your life, but people really buy into it and it’s a forever home sort of area, especially in areas like Leigh and Chalkwell they are highly desirable and people are willing to pay that bit more for their dream home.”