Amanda has worked in estate agency in the Southeast of England for a number of years in both residential and commercial property sales.
Who This Article Is For
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 between 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 re-locate 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.
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 Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire. These are all updated on a regular basis, and links are posted on social media under 'Cheapest Places UK'.
Buying a 3 Bedroom House in Essex - Cheapest Prices
|Up to £250,000||£250,001-£340,000||£340,001-£400,000||£400,001 Upwards|
Ilford & Hainault
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 way from London Liverpool Street by rail, making it popular with commuters. Three bedroom family homes can be bought here from around £345,000 (January 2021)
Braintree & Bocking
Braintree, and its conjoined twin, the village of Bocking, is 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 has much to recommend it. Three bedroom houses are available from around £225,000, 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.
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 a popular with commuters into the city.
The town has quite a history, and there are numerous interesting, old buildings within 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 £325,000 (January 2021), which is more expensive than other Essex locations, but still reasonable for the South-East as a whole.
Burnham-on-Crouch has a diverse housing stock, and it's difficult to pin down typical house prices, but on the day I updated this article (January 2021), there were quite a number of basic properties priced at or around £295,000 with a few more at a little less. I suspect that cheaper houses do trickle on to 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.
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.
3 bedroom houses on the island start at around £260,000, The nearest rail station is at Shoeburyness/Southend.
Popular with commuters, Chelmsford, the county town of Essex, has a history spanning over 800 years. 3 bedroom houses are available here from around £270,000 (January 2021), 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, and 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.
Chipping Ongar is a small market town in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located 5 miles (8 km) east of Epping, 6 miles (10 km) southeast of Harlow and 6 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 £375,000, and supply is often very limited.
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. 3 bedroom houses may be bought in Clacton from approximately £175,000, with the occasional bargain slipping in a little below that figure.
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 a zoo, and excellent transport links. A typical rail commute into London Liverpool Street takes under an hour. Three bedroom homes start at approximately £190,000 at present (January 2021), and there are lots of reductions around at present. Look out for a bargain!
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 £280,000.
The journey by rail from Dagenham Dock to London Liverpool Street takes around 35 minutes.
A seriously beautiful village on the Essex Suffolk border, Dedham has only a limited range of property currently available (January 2021) and very little of that could be described as cheap. On the day that I researched Dedham house prices, the least expensive 3 bedroom house available was £525,000, and prices quickly escalated upwards.
£265,000 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 2 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.
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 £230,000. There is no railway station in Halstead, and commuters will need to travel into Colchester for the train into London.
Harlow has no shortage of houses in the £230,000 to £275,000 price bracket. £260,000 should be more than enough to buy you a basic three bedroom house here (January 2021). 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. However, the housing market is now slowing, and there are plenty of reductions around. Unlike other Essex towns that are holding steady price-wise, Harlow seems to be dropping back overall.
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.
Three bedroom houses are so wonderfully cheap in Harwich that you can actually find one or two that cost less than £170,000. In fact, if you lived in Harwich, and had say, £370,000 to spare, you could buy quite an imposing 4 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.
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 £360,000. (January 2021) Prices have literally escalated in Ilford over the last few years, but they appear to have stabilized during 2020, and there are plenty 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.
If you love the coast, and fancy buying a house near the seaside, you might want to consider Leigh-on-Sea, where 3 bedroom places come to market from around £280,000. 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 hours journey time from London by train, the town has its fair share of commuters, but it also caters for day-trippers and holiday makers who come to enjoy the Leigh's old-fashioned seaside ambience.
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 as little as £265,000. 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.
3 bedroom properties in Rainham start at around £340,000, 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, and a ferry ran from here into the City of London. Modern day Rainham is a prosperous town with good local employment opportunities. Additionally, the train journey from here into Liverpool Street station takes just less than 40 minutes, making it a good location for commuters into London.
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 £300,000.
.London commuters should note that the journey into Liverpool Street from here takes less than three quarters of an hour on a direct route.
Three bedroom houses in Romford start at around £300,000. 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.
Saffron Waldren 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 £300,000, with a rare bargain occasionally appearing for less than this amount. The nearest train station is 2 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 re-locate in this area.
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. £290,000 should be more than enough to buy a cheap, family home in the town.
The direct line train link to London Liverpool Street takes around one hour and twenty minutes from Shoeburyness.
£270,000 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.
£290,000 should 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.
Tilbury has a major deep water 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 £275,000 (January 2021). A typical rail commute from here into London Liverpool Street takes slightly less than an hour.
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 £400,000 even for quite an average terraced property, however, there are quite a few reductions in prices locally, so don't be afraid to negotiate.
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 3 bedroom house can be bought for under £270,000 (January 2021). 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.
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 good number of basic family homes available to buy from around £290,000 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.