HOUSE prices across south Essex have shot up in the last five years with Southend homes seeing the second biggest increase in the county.

John Budge, a Thorpe Bay resident, fears it is becoming too difficult for youngsters to get on the property ladder and action is needed to resolve the issue.

Southend’s average house prices have risen by 30.47 per cent from £236,911 in February 2016 to £309,102 in February this year.

The third biggest increase in Essex saw Basildon’s average house price jump 25.72 per cent to £334,522, having stood at £266,069 five years ago.

Mr Budge, 78, said: “This is a big issue – those of us who are home owners are sitting comfortable with smiles on our faces.

“The real problem is that youngsters who are looking to get on the property ladder are finding it more difficult. The amount they will have to pay is not affordable.

“Should you choose the option of rent, the issue then becomes that you can’t really afford to save your money for a property of your own.

“Something has to be done to build more affordable homes.”

Essex’s average house price has gone up by 21.33 per cent to £327,277.

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Findings – from a study by debt specialists IVA Advice – were based on figures from the Office of National Statistics.

Richard Perrott, managing director at Approach Estates in Eastwood, says buyers are being forced to pay more due to supply and demand.

Mr Perrott, said: “I’ve been an agent nearly 20 years, it’s incredible how the prices have gone up.

“March last year we didn’t know whether we’d have a business to go back to and properties we couldn’t sell ten years ago are now flying off the shelf at such a higher price than we thought they would.

“It’s lots to do with the borrowing of money being cheaper, so I think when there is multiple buyers for a property sometimes people’s need to buy somewhere goes above their head on what something is worth. More are also moving in than moving out, and expectations are a lot higher.

“Thankfully there are schemes in place to help first time buyers. It is within reach, but you do have to be very dedicated if you’re serious about buying a property.”