Skip to main content

Cheapest Places in Essex to Buy a 3-Bedroom House in 2022

Amanda has worked in estate agency in the Southeast of England in both residential and commercial property sales.

Canvey Island

Canvey Island

Affordable Proximity to London

This article is about property prices in Essex. If you are hoping to get on to the property ladder as a first-time buyer, the high cost of property in the South-East can be quite depressing. However, there are huge variations in house prices from town to town. A three-bedroom home in Upminster, for example, can easily cost more than double the price of an almost identical house in Clacton-on-Sea.

So who is this article for?

First-time buyers, buy-to-letters, those hoping to relocate to a cheaper area, people stuck in high-price accommodation in London but who would be happy to move and commute in order to improve their standard of living, and finally, of course, those who simply want to know how their hometown compares to others across the county.

3-Bedroom House Prices in Essex by Town

Up to £300,000£300,001-£370,000£370,001-£430,000£430,001 Upwards




Chipping Ongar

Canvey Island







Grays Thurrock




Ilford & Hainault













Walton-on-the Naze

Saffron Walden



More "Cheapest Places" Articles

When you have finished reading this article, you might also like to look at "14 of the Cheapest Places in the UK to buy a 3 Bedroom House" and at other articles on house prices in Surrey, Kent, Hampshire, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, Oxfordshire,Berkshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire. These are all updated on a regular basis, and links are posted on social media under "Cheapest Places UK."

1. Billericay

Thought to have been occupied since the Bronze Age, Billericay is a historic town in the London Basin. Immortalized by Ian Drury and the Blockheads in their song 'Billericay Dickie', the town is approximately half an hour away from London Liverpool Street by rail, making it popular with commuters. Three-bedroom family homes can be bought here from around £360,000 (January 2022).

2. Braintree & Bocking

Braintree, and its conjoined twin, the village of Bocking, are located 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Chelmsford and 15 miles (24 km) west of Colchester. With good rail links into the capital, plus schools through to sixth form, and a useful selection of local shops and leisure facilities, this little town is an ideal place for families. Three-bedroom houses are available from around £270,000, which is considerably less than some other Essex towns within commuter distance of the capital. A train journey from Braintree to London, Liverpool Street, typically takes approximately one hour.

3. Brentwood

Brentwood is located 20 miles (30 km) east-north-east of London's Charing Cross station, and it is also conveniently placed for the M25. A typical rail commute from the town into London takes around 40 minutes, which of course means that it is popular with commuters into the city.

The town has quite a history, and there are numerous interesting old buildings on its streets, including Ingatestone Hall. As you might expect in a wealthy town of this size, there are good schools, comprehensive shopping opportunities, and excellent sports and leisure facilities locally. A three-bedroom house here is likely to cost upwards of £375,000 (January 2022), which is more expensive than other Essex locations but still reasonable for the South-East as a whole. The New Year has brought a flurry of price reductions on older listings as well as a clutch of brand new listings to kickstart the year.

4. Burnham-on-Crouch

Burnham-on-Crouch has a diverse housing stock, and it's difficult to pin down typical house prices. On the day I updated this article (January 2022), there were just three basic properties priced under £335,000 with quite a big jump up to the next cheapest. I suspect that more affordable houses do trickle onto the market here from time to time, but you may have to be vigilant to find the bargains.

The town lies on the North bank of the River Crouch and is popular with the yachting crowd, which probably explains the higher-than-average-for Essex-Coast type prices. As well as having a cute name, Burnham-on-Crouch is a very cute town, with many quirky and attractive properties within its boundaries. The rail journey from here into London Liverpool Street takes around one hour and ten minutes, with one change.

5. Canvey Island

Canvey Island is a reclaimed island lying in the Thames estuary. It is separated from the mainland of South Essex by a network of creeks and, being only just above sea level, is at risk of flooding at exceptional tides. Nevertheless, the island has been inhabited since Roman times.

Between 1911 and 1951, Canvey Island became the fastest-growing seaside resort in Britain. However, the North Sea flood of 1953 devastated the island, with many lives lost and mass evacuations. Fortunately, Canvey is today protected by modern sea defences.

Three-bedroom houses on the island start at around £275,000. The nearest rail station is at Shoeburyness/Southend.

6. Chelmsford

Popular with commuters, Chelmsford, the county town of Essex, has a history spanning over 800 years. Three-bedroom houses are available here from around £315,000 (January 2022), which makes it relatively inexpensive compared to inner London prices, but less attractive when compared to some of the further-flung commuter towns, such as Braintree. The New Year has brought with it a whole raft of reductions on older listings in Chelmsford, and there is always room for further negotiation.

Chelmsford is more than just a commuter town It has a vibrant pub and club scene, excellent opportunities for retail therapy, and really good sports and leisure facilities, all close at hand. A train journey from Chelmsford into London, Liverpool Street, usually takes less than 40 minutes.

7. Chipping Ongar

Chipping Ongar is a small market town in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located five miles (eight km) east of Epping, six miles (10 km) southeast of Harlow and six miles (10 km) northwest of Brentwood. Whilst it has no regular commuter rail link with London, train users can get into London from Brentwood, or alternatively, they may use the underground service from nearby Epping. Three-bedroom houses in this quaint old town are typically priced at upwards of £450,000, and supply is often very limited.

8. Clacton-on-Sea

Clacton-on-Sea is a seaside resort on the Essex coast, popular with day-trippers and holiday-makers. The town is blessed with an award-winning sandy beach and also has a pier full of all the usual amusements. A rail journey from Clacton-by-Sea into London, Liverpool Street takes around 90 minutes. The town boasts its own small airport, popular with private aviators. Liveable three-bedroom houses may be bought in Clacton from approximately £225,000, with the occasional bargain or doer-upper slipping in a little below that figure.

9. Colchester

As the oldest recorded Roman town in Britain, Colchester is claimed to be the oldest town in the whole UK, and It was, for a time, the capital of Roman Britain.

Modern-day Colchester is a large town, with a choice of schools through to secondary level, good retail opportunities, sports and leisure facilities which include a zoo, and excellent transport links. A typical rail commute into London Liverpool Street takes under an hour. Three-bedroom homes start at approximately £220,000 at present (January 2022).

10. Dagenham

Perhaps best known for its historic associations with the British car industry, Dagenham is located approximately 11.5 miles (18.5 km) east of Charing Cross and around 9.5 miles (15.2 km) east of the City of London. Once a green haven of fields and market gardens bordering the River Thames, Dagenham is today a very urban environment. Three bedroom family houses can be bought here from upwards of £325,000.

The journey by rail from Dagenham Dock to London Liverpool Street takes around 35 minutes.

11. Dedham

A seriously beautiful village on the Essex-Suffolk border, Dedham has only a limited range of property currently available (January 2022), and very little of that could be described as cheap. On the day that I researched Dedham house prices, the least expensive three-bedroom house available was £750,000, and prices quickly escalated upwards.

12. Grays Thurrock

£300,000 or a little less should be ample to buy a basic three-bedroom property in Grays. The town is approximately 20 miles (32 km) east of the capital on the north bank of the River Thames and two miles (3.2 km) east of the M25 motorway. Grays is well known for its links to the Port of London Industries, and also for the Lakeside, West Thurrock retail centre. Naturally, for a well-placed town of this size, there are excellent educational, recreational and retail facilities. A train journey from Grays into London, Liverpool Street takes under 50 minutes.

13. Halstead

Halstead is a small town near Colchester with reasonable, basic shopping facilities, three primary schools, and local sports clubs. It's a quiet, unassuming kind of place, and basic, family houses are available to buy here from approximately £285,000. There is no railway station in Halstead, and commuters will need to travel into Colchester for the train into London.

14. Harlow

Harlow has no shortage of houses in the £270,000 to £325,000 price bracket. £325,000 should be more than enough to buy you a basic three-bedroom house here (January 2022). Harlow house prices have increased considerably since 2014, when this article was first written, no doubt due to the ripple effect caused by Londoners leaving the capital in search of cheaper property. Just like other Essex towns, the 2020/2021 Stamp Duty holiday has fuelled a further increase in house prices.

Harlow was built as a New Town after World War 2 as part of a scheme to ease over-crowding in London, which was heavily damaged during the Blitz. The development incorporated the market town of Harlow, now a neighbourhood known as Old Harlow, and many of the surrounding villages and hamlets. Much of the development took place in the 1950s and 1960s, resulting in a core housing stock dating from this period. Harlow is served by the NHS Princess Alexandra Hospital, which has a 24-hour Accident & Emergency and Urgent Care Centre near the town centre.

Located only 10 miles from London Stanstead Airport, and within a 40-minute rail commute of London Liverpool Street, the town has excellent transport links.

15. Harwich

Three-bedroom houses are so wonderfully cheap in Harwich that you can actually find one or two that cost less than £200,000. In fact, if you lived in Harwich and had, say, £450,000 to spare, you could buy quite an imposing four-bedroom house with a drive and a garage. What would scarcely buy you a terraced house in Upminster, would virtually guarantee you a luxurious home here in the northern-most coastal town of Essex.

Harwich is one of the Haven ports, and regular ferry services travel from here to Holland and to Denmark. Once a naval base, and a strategic military harbour, the town today has a rich architectural heritage, with many old and interesting buildings. Several railway stations serve both the town and ferry port, and a journey into London, including changes, takes around an hour and a half.

16. Ilford & Hainault

Ilford was once a small rural settlement in the county of Essex, but its strategic position on the London to Colchester Roman road made it an ideal place to break a journey, and a coaching town soon grew up. The arrival of the railway in 1839 increased Ilford's importance still further, and the town eventually became a municipal borough of London in 1926. In 2011, Ilford became the fastest-growing tourist destination in Europe due to the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Being so close to central London, it should come as no surprise that property prices are higher here than in other Essex towns. It's rare to find a three-bedroom home here for less than £400,000. (January 2022) Prices have literally escalated in Ilford over the last few years. They do appear to have stabilized during 2021, however, and there are a number of listings with recent reductions. Perhaps a sign of things to come?

A typical jaunt into London Liverpool Street by rail takes approximately 20 minutes from here on the mainline railway. There is also the option of using the London Underground. Gants Hill tube station is in the north of Ilford and is on the Central Line.

17. Leigh-on-Sea

If you love the coast and fancy buying a house near the seaside, you might want to consider Leigh-on-Sea, where three-bedroom places come to market from around £335,000. Leigh-on-Sea is on the north side of the Thames Estuary, and it has been a place where boat-building, and fishing have been an integral part of the local economy for many centuries. Around an hour's journey time from London by train, the town has its fair share of commuters, but it also caters to day-trippers and holidaymakers who come to enjoy the Leigh's old-fashioned seaside ambiance.

18. Manningtree, Lawford & Mistley

Once believed to be the smallest town in the UK, little Manningtree and the adjoining villages of Lawford and Mistley. enjoy a picturesque location close to the River Stour. The town itself has some fine old buildings, most notably the town library, which was originally built as a Corn Exchange. Three-bedroom houses in Manningtree may be bought from a little under £325,000. The town is on a direct rail route into London, and a journey from here into Liverpool Street is likely to last around one hour and ten minutes.

19. Rainham

Three-bedroom properties in Rainham start at around £375,000, quite a leap up from when I first compiled this list in 2014. Rainham is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Raineham. Bordering the Thames, the medieval settlement soon came to rely on river traffic for trade. A ferry ran from here into the City of London, ensuring a good amount of traffic travelling through. Modern-day Rainham is a prosperous town with good local employment opportunities. Ideal for commuters into the capital, a train journey from here into Liverpool Street station takes just less than 40 minutes.

20. Rayleigh

Rayleigh is a market town located between Chelmsford and Southend-on-Sea, approximately 32 miles east of central London. The town has been in existence for many centuries, and there was already a village in this location at the time of the Domesday Book. Rayleigh is a town with a good community feel, as evidenced by the many local clubs and societies and the excellent sports and leisure facilities. With schools through to secondary level and a noted musical theatre college, Rayleigh is a good place for families. House prices here are in the mid-range for Essex, and family-sized homes start at around £375,000.

.London commuters should note that the journey into Liverpool Street from here takes less than three-quarters of an hour on a direct route.

21. Romford

Three-bedroom houses in Romford start at around £325,000. Romford became a municipal borough of London in 1937 and has been considered part of Greater London since 1965. It has one of the largest commercial, retail, entertainment, and leisure districts outside central London and even has its own local radio station, Time 107.5 FM. Being close to the capital, it is popular with commuters, and a typical rail journey into London Liverpool Street takes less than half an hour.

22. Saffron Walden

Saffron Walden is a market town 12 miles (19 km) north of Bishop's Stortford, 18 miles (29 km) south of Cambridge, and 43 miles (69 km) north of London. The town has a pleasing, countrified air to it, and the many historic buildings in the town centre, add to its overall charm. Three-bedroom homes here start at around £335,000, with a rare bargain occasionally appearing for less than this amount. The nearest train station is two miles away, at Audley End, and the rail commute into London Liverpool Street from this station takes approximately an hour. Saffron Walden has a ruined castle, an interesting turf maze, and a museum. It's a fun place to visit and worth investigating if you are looking to relocate in this area.

23. Shoeburyness

Quaintly named Shoeburyness lies on the Thames estuary, just three miles east of Southend-on-Sea. Three-bedroom houses seem to be a little more expensive than in Southend, although there are still occasional bargains to be found. £350,000 should be more than enough to buy a family home in the town.

The direct line train link to London Liverpool Street takes around one hour and twenty minutes from Shoeburyness.

24. Southend-on-Sea

£280,000 should be ample to buy you a three-bedroom house in Southend-on-Sea. DIY project homes and ready-tenanted houses are up to £20,000 less than this figure.

Home to the longest leisure pier in the world, Southend Pier, and benefiting from a wonderful, sandy beach, the town is justifiably popular with day-trippers and holiday-makers alike. With local schools and colleges through to degree level, and excellent shopping, and sports and leisure venues, Southend-on-Sea has a lot to offer.

London Southend Airport is located just north of the town and is a great alternative to the larger London Airports when heading off to destinations both in continental Europe and within the UK. The rail commute into London, Liverpool Street from here takes a little over an hour on a direct line.

25. Southminster

£335,000 ought to be sufficient to buy a basic three-bedroom house in Southminster, but unfortunately, the cheaper-end houses are few and far between in this sought-after location.

A very small town with few facilities other than a primary school and a swimming pool, Southminster is not exactly a vibrant metropolis, but it does have a certain charm that has ensured its popularity. If you are a commuter looking to escape to a place with a slower pace of life, this could be the place for you. The rail commute from Southminster station into London Liverpool Street takes around an hour and a quarter with one change.

26. Tilbury

Tilbury has a major deepwater port on the River Thames, which has been in use since Roman times. There has been river traffic up and down the Thames towards London for well over a thousand years, and a ferry has operated between Tilbury on the North bank and Gravesend on the South for much of that time. Modern-day Tilbury still relies heavily on the Port and the river for employment opportunities. Three-bedroom houses can be bought in the town from around £325,000 (January 2022). A typical rail commute from here into London Liverpool Street takes slightly less than an hour.

27. Upminster

Upminster was once a rural Essex village, part of an ancient parish with a mention in the Domesday Book. Although outside Central London, the modern town has excellent transport links, including a terminal station on the London Underground network and close proximity to the M25 motorway. A mainline rail journey from here into London Liverpool Street takes around 40 minutes.

House prices in Upminster reflect both its accessibility and its general small-town appeal. A three-bedroom house here will easily cost upwards of £425,000, even for quite an average terraced property; however, there are quite a few reductions in prices locally, so don't be afraid to negotiate.

28. Walton-on-the-Naze

Walton-on-the-Naze is a small Essex town on the North Sea Coast. It lies North of Clacton-on-Sea and abuts Frinton-on-Sea to the South. Popular with day-trippers, the town is a magnet for keen bird-watchers who wish to visit "The Naze," a peninsula north of the town, which is partly a nature reserve, and is noted for migrating birds, wintering ducks, and Brent geese. Property prices here are fairly low for Essex. A three-bedroom house can be bought for under £300,000 (January 2022). The town has a branch-line rail station, and a typical journey into London, Liverpool Street takes around an hour and a half with one change.

29. Wickford

Wickford is a fairly small town with reasonable high street shopping facilities, a swimming pool, library, open-air market and a nearby country park. There are a small number of basic family homes available to buy from a little less than £300,000 in Wickford, and if you are a commuter, the good news is that the town has a direct rail link into London. The average journey time by train to Liverpool Street is under 40 minutes.

More About the Essex Coast

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.