DEMAND for “lower-end” homes is rising in Basildon as first-time buyers from central London look to move into the town, an estate agent has revealed.

House prices in Basildon dropped by 0.1 per cent in September with average sale prices falling by £9,300, but Mitchell Frost, from Kingswood Estate Agent, has insisted the town has become a “hotspot” as an affordable commuter town.

He described the market in Basildon as “pretty turbulent”, but insisted there is plenty of reasons to be positive.

He told the Echo: “We’re still selling lower-end homes, between £200,000 to £300,000. Those are more for first-time buyers who are not local. They’re coming from central London.

“Basildon is a bit of a hotspot, as it’s a more affordable commuter town and it’s so expensive to live in central London.

“We’re in a lucky position, where the general market has come to a bit of a halt, but Basildon is still fairly buoyant.”

The drop in house prices in Basildon contributes to a longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area suffer a 2.5 per cent annual decline.

First-time buyers in Basildon spent an average of £312,700 on their property, £8,900 less than a year ago but £43,800 more than in September 2018.

In September, the average Basildon house price was £370,738 according to Land Registry figures, 0.1 per cent less than in August.

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Basildon fell by £9,300.

Mike Gray, managing director at estate agent Dedman Gray, told the Echo that Basildon matches the current national decline in house prices.

He said: “The main driver of people moving is those who need to for non-financial reasons. That’s why the middle part of the sector is doing slightly better, as families move for work, school catchment areas, or for more space.”

The picture was similar to that across the East of England in September, where prices decreased 0.4 per cent. Across the UK as a whole, there was a 0.5 per cent fall in house prices.