HOUSE prices in north Essex have shown a sharp rise, according to an estate agents.

Haart’s new property index showed the average price of all property sold through its branches in Colchester, Manningtree and Wivenhoe rose by 12.25 per cent.

The highest increase was in semi-detached houses, where sold prices increased 15.76 per cent to £206,865 compared to the previous quarter.

National figures also show house sellers’ asking prices have made strong gains.

According to property website Rightmove, average asking prices in Essex are now £289,957 - an increase of 11 per cent since the housing market was at its pre-crisis peak in May 2008.

But the house price boom may have hit some people struggling to buy.

Figures released by the National Housing Federation show the average wage in Tendring is £20,930 but the average house price is more than eight times greater, at £173,279.

This comes just weeks after a survey, published by the charity Shelter, found nearly two million young people, aged 20 to 34, are still living with their parents because they cannot afford to rent or buy their own property.