HOUSE prices have rocketed in Basildon, with the borough seeing the highest increase in the whole of Essex last year.

Land Registry figures show from April to June 2013, house prices there rose 10.8 per cent year-on-year to an average price of £235,719.

Government figures show between April and June last year, 538 properties in the borough were sold, second only to Colchester as Basildon’s appeal – new developments, business parks and close proximity to London – draw people.

In less than two years, 144 homes were built and sold by Barratt Homes at its controversial Acacia Park development, in Gloucester Park.

As the firm begins work on 100 more homes as part of phase two of the development, there have already been expressions of interest, fuelled by the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Jason Colmer, Barratt’s sales and marketing director said: “Basildon is popular due to its location, seven-minute walk to the station, and ease of access to the A127 and A13.

“It is well known huge investment into Thames Gateway port has highlighted the profile of the A13 corridor.”

Developers say the lure of the town is seeing properties selling fast and for higher prices. Latest figures from market analyst Hometrack show homes in the borough now sell on average at £245,787 – a £24,340 increase compared to February last year.

According to Land Registry figures, terraced homes in the borough proved the most popular, with 175 sold in just three months. Another major housing development in Basildon has also proved popular, with half of Weston Homes’ 426 apartments in Morello Quarter, in Cherrydown West, being bought.

The final phase of the development, due to finish in 2016, will launch next month and already 100 people have shown interest.

Bob Weston, CEO of Weston Homes, said: “Locals want a high quality development in a great location which offers good transport links and spacious living and Morello Quarter ticks all the boxes.

“The excellent specification, commutability into London and outside space is also a huge appeal.”

Tony Ball, leader of the Tory administration at Basildon Council, added: “It shows people want to live and stay in Basildon and it’s great to see people wanting to come from the outside the borough.”