RENT prices are on the up in Chelmsford - by an average of seven per cent year-on-year.

A survey conducted by estate agents Balgores Property showed monthly rents rose from just under £836 in October 2012 - to £894 a year later.

Experts believe the increase shows how much stronger the rental market has become despite Government schemes bringing more first time buyers onto the property ladder.

Howard Lester, director of Balgores, said: “What now seems to be a more permanent change in the market is that many people will rent property until they can afford to buy a house that suits them, later on.”

Iain Large who is landlord of a property in Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, said anyone looking to enter the market as a landlord has to be brave, but the results were good.

The 32-year-old said: “The property I have cost my £355,000 in May and has nine bedrooms which I rent out individually.

“The house needed a bit of work on it when I bought it but so far it has made me £24,000 in profit, a lot of which goes on bills but it is still a worthwhile investment.

“I have never struggled to find tenants who seem mainly to be foreigners and students who need a place to live.

“Sometimes it happens that a friend passes the room onto another mate and in one case when one guy moved out, he literally chucked his keys across the room to his friend who moved in.”