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Cheapest Places in Essex to buy a 3-Bedroom House in 2016

Canvey Island, by Oneblackline, courtesy of Wiki Commons.
Canvey Island, by Oneblackline, courtesy of Wiki Commons.

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 my articles on house prices in Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire, Derbyshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire. Click on the author link in the top right of this article to go to my profile page and see the full list.

Buying a 3 Bedroom House in Essex - Cheapest Prices

Up to £250,000
£250,001-£340,000
£340,001-£400,000
£400,001 Upwards
 
 
Billericay
 
 
 
Braintree
 
 
 
 
 
Brentwood
 
 
 
 
Burnham-on-Crouch
 
 
 
Canvey Island
 
 
 
 
 
Chelmsford
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chipping Ongar
 
Clacton-on-Sea
 
 
 
 
Colchester
 
 
 
 
 
Dagenham
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dedham
 
Grays Thurrock
 
 
 
 
Halstead
 
 
 
 
Harlow
 
 
 
 
Harwich
 
 
 
 
 
Ilford & Hainault
 
 
 
 
Leigh-on-Sea
 
 
 
 
Manningtree
 
 
 
 
Rainham
 
 
 
 
Rayleigh
 
 
 
 
Romford
 
 
 
 
Saffron Walden
 
 
 
Shoeburyness
 
 
 
 
Southend-on-Sea
 
 
 
 
 
Southminster
 
 
 
Tilbury
 
 
 
 
 
 
Upminster
 
 
Walton-on-the Naze
 
 
 
 
 
Wickford
 
 
 

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 way from London Liverpool Street by rail, making it popular with commuters. Three bedroom family homes can be bought here from around £310,000 (September 2016)

Braintree & Bocking

Braintree, and the adjacent village, 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 6th form, good 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 City. A train journey from Braintree to London, Liverpool Street will take approximately one hour.

Brentwood

Brentwood is located 20 miles (30 km) east north-east of Charing Cross, and is close to the M25. It is an affluent town, firmly in the London Commuter Belt. A typical rail commute from the town into London, Liverpool Street, takes around 40 minutes. The town has quite a history, and there are numerous interesting, old buildings within it's 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 £320,000 (September 2016)

Burnham-on-Crouch

Burnham-on-Crouch has a diverse housing stock, and it's difficult to pin down typical house prices, but on the day I researched this article (September 2016), there was an older-style property available for £205,000, then quite a jump up to some more modern properties which were upwards of £250,000. 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 it's boundaries. The rail journey from here into London Liverpool Street takes around one hour and ten minutes, with one change.

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.

3 bedroom houses on the island start at around £200,000, but a budget of at least £220,000 is probably more realistic The nearest rail station is at Shoeburyness/Southend.

Chelmsford

Popular with commuters, Chelmsford, the county town of Essex, has a history spanning over 800 years. 3 bedroom houses are available here from around £250,000, 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. Chelmsford is more than just a commuter town, however, as there is 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

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 £355,000, and supply is very limited.

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, where private aviators can use the facilities. 3 bedroom houses may be bought in Clacton from approximately £140,000.

Colchester

As the oldest recorded Roman town in Britain, Colchester is claimed to be the oldest town in the UK, and It was for a time, the capital of Roman Britain. 3 bedroom homes in this historic location can be bought for as little as £190,000, making it ideal territory for first time buyers.

Colchester is a large town, with good schools through to secondary level, good shopping and sports and leisure facilities, including a zoo, and excellent transport links. A typical rail commute into London Liverpool Street takes under an hour.

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 a little under £270,000. The journey by rail from Dagenham Dock to London Liverpool Street lasts around 35 minutes.

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Dedham

A seriously cute village on the Essex Suffolk border, Dedham really has no property currently available (September 2016) that might be described as cheap. On the day that I researched Dedham house prices, the cheapest 3 bedroom house available was £335,000. Realistically, however, there is no point in looking at property here unless your budget is at least £400,000. But what a beautiful place to live!

Grays Thurrock

£230,000 should be ample to buy a 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. The town is well known for it's 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

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 £210,000. There is no railway station in Halstead, and commuters will need to travel into Colchester for the train into London.

Harlow

Harlow has no shortage of houses in the £230,000 to £260,000 price bracket. £250,000 should be sufficient to buy you a basic three bedroom house here(September 2016). Unlike other Essex towns, house prices have increased considerably during 2016, no doubt due to the ripple effect caused by Londoners leaving the capital in search of cheaper property.

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 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.

Harwich

Three bedroom houses are so wonderfully cheap in Harwich that you can actually find one or two that cost less than £125,000, thus escaping the need to pay any stamp duty to the government. In fact, if you lived in Harwich, and had say, £300,000 to spare, you could buy quite an imposing 4 bedroom house with a sweeping 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 the town and the 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 £350,000. (September 2016) Prices have escalated in Ilford in recent months.

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.

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 3 bedroom places come to market from around £250,000. 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 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 around £260,000, although you might find the occasional bargain priced a little lower. 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.

Rainham

3 bedroom properties in Rainham start at around £280,000, 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 the capital..

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 £270,000.

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

Romford

Three bedroom houses in Romford start at around £270,000. 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 Walden

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 £280,000, 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.

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. £230,000 should be sufficient 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.

Southend-on-Sea

£250,000 should be ample to buy you a three bedroom house in Southend-on-Sea. 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 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.

Southminster

£310,000 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

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 £240,000 (September 2016). A typical rail commute from here into London Liverpool Street takes slightly less than an hour.

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 it's aaccessibility, and its general small-town appeal. A three bedroom house here will easily cost upwards of £380,000 even for quite an average terraced property.

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 3 bedroom house can be bought for under £200,000 (September 2016). 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

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 £270,000 in Wickford, and if you are a commuter, the good news is that the town has a direct rail link with London. The average journey time by train is under 40 minutes.

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