HOUSE prices dropped by 1.4 per cent – more than the average for the East of England – in Chelmsford in May, new figures show.

But the drop does not reverse the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area achieve 2 per cent annual growth.

The average Chelmsford house price in May was £345,343, Land Registry figures show – a 1.4 per cent decrease on April.

Over the month, the picture was similar to that across the East of England, where prices decreased 1 per cent, and Chelmsford underperformed compared to the 0.9 per cent rise for the UK as a whole.

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Chelmsford rose by £6,900 – putting the area 49th among the East of England’s 50 local authorities for annual growth.

The best annual growth in the region was in Great Yarmouth, where property prices increased on average by 15.6 per cent, to £197,000.

At the other end of the scale, properties in East Cambridgeshire gained 1 per cent in value, giving an average price of £285,000.

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Winners and Losers

Owners of terraced houses fared worst in Chelmsford in May – they dropped 1.6 per cent in price, to £298,718 on average.

But over the last year, prices rose by 2.8 per cent.

Among other types of property:

  • Detached: down 1.1 per cent monthly; up 3.5 per cent annually; £607,336 average
  • Semi-detached: down 1.5 per cent monthly; up 2.5 per cent annually; £375,249 average
  • Flats: down 1.5 per cent monthly; down 1.2 per cent annually; £207,173 average

First steps on the property ladder

First-time buyers in Chelmsford spent an average of £282,800 on their property – £3,600 more than a year ago, and £33,600 more than in May 2016.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £394,500 on average in May – 39.5 per cent more than first-time buyers.

How do property prices in Chelmsford compare?

Buyers paid 11.3 per cent more than the average price in the East of England (£310,000) in May for a property in Chelmsford. Across the East of England, property prices are high compared to those across the UK, where the average cost £255,000.

The most expensive properties in the East of England were in Three Rivers – £547,000 on average, and 1.6 times as much as in Chelmsford.

Three Rivers properties cost 2.8 times as much as homes in Great Yarmouth (£197,000 average), at the other end of the scale.