House prices dropped by 2.7% in Chelmsford in April, new figures show.

But the drop does not reverse the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area achieve 4.3% annual growth.

The average Chelmsford house price in April was £349,531, Land Registry figures show – a 2.7% decrease on March.

Over the month, the picture was worse than that across the East of England, where prices increased 0.3%, and Chelmsford underperformed compared to the 1.9% drop for the UK as a whole.

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Chelmsford rose by £14,000 – putting the area 46th among the East of England’s 50 local authorities for annual growth.

The best annual growth in the region was in Tendring, where property prices increased on average by 16.5%, to £254,000. At the other end of the scale, properties in Welwyn Hatfield gained 2% in value, giving an average price of £404,000.

Owners of semi-detached houses fared worst in Chelmsford in April – they dropped 2.7% in price, to £380,203 on average.

But over the last year, prices rose by 4.9%.

Among other types of property:

  • Detached: down 2.6% monthly; up 5.2% annually; £611,483 average
  • Terraced: down 2.6% monthly; up 5.2% annually; £303,248 average
  • Flats: down 2.6% monthly; up 1.7% annually; £210,648 average

First-time buyers in Chelmsford spent an average of £287,000 on their property – £11,000 more than a year ago, and £36,000 more than in April 2016.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £399,000 on average in April – 38.9% more than first-time buyers.

How do property prices in Chelmsford compare?

Buyers paid 11.3% more than the average price in the East of England (£314,000) in April for a property in Chelmsford. Across the East of England, property prices are high compared to those across the UK, where the average cost £251,000.

The most expensive properties in the East of England were in St Albans – £543,000 on average, and 1.6 times as much as in Chelmsford. St Albans properties cost 2.9 times as much as homes in Great Yarmouth (£186,000 average), at the other end of the scale.

The highest property prices across the UK were in Kensington and Chelsea, where the average April sale price of £1.1 million could buy 11 properties in East Ayrshire (average £105,000).