HOUSE prices are rocketing in Chelmsford - as the city was named the tenth best place to live in the country.

Latest stats, by Property market analysts Hometrack, told how average home prices shot up 6.9 per cent in 2013.

The figures were released as the city was named the tenth most desirable place to live in the UK, according to a Halifax poll.

The city is clearly experiencing a boom as latest data ranks Essex in the top ten “boom places” in Britain - with average property prices up 5.3 per cent in 2013, year-on-year.

This compares to a 4.4 per cent average house rise across the country.

Ryan Holmes, a senior negotiator at Duke Street-based estate agents Owen Lyons, said the good times were beginning to roll.

He said: “Prices have gone up and it has been like that from the middle of 2013. The market has got stronger.

“The Government mortgage incentives has brought more first time buyers into play with homes under £250,000 going quickly.”

Residents have also said they are noticing the property market is heating up.

Brett Sanders, 42, is now busy house-hunting after being surprised it took only two weeks in November to sell his house in Melbourne for £200,000 - a profit of £20,000 from when he bought the property three years ago.

He said: “The Government deposit schemes looks to have helped open up the market once more.

“Also with all the property programmes on TV, I think people are a lot more aware of what they are buying and are realistic about prices.”

Residents also agree life in the city is pretty good - with many proud to live in Chelmsford.

Russ Jones, 50, of Old Court Road, said: “I’ve lived in Chelmsford since I was a child and I really enjoy living here.

“There’s plenty to do and great places to visit. It ticks plenty of boxes.”

Chelmsford Council leader Roy Whitehead said both bits of news made for a really good start to 2014.

He said: “I know lots of homes are being bought locally. This is a great way to start a new year and the outlook is promising.”