NEW figures have revealed most expensive and trendiest parts of the district to buy a house.

Stour Valley North, which includes the Belchamps and Ridgewell near the Suffolk border, was the most expensive area of the Braintree district to be on the property ladder.

Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that of the 26 council wards, Stour Valley North saw the highest median house price in 2021, of £490,000.

This was followed by Gosfield and Greenstead Green (£463,750) and Three Fields (£437,500), which covers Finchingfield, Wethersfield, Great Bardfield, Shalford and Panfield.

The cheapest parts of the district to purchase property were Braintree Central and Beckers Green, which had a median house price of £240,000, Witham Central (£242,000) and Bocking South (£255,000).

The median is used to ensure the figures are not skewed by extreme highs or lows.

Meanwhile, the number of homes sold in Braintree rose from 2,210 in 2020 to 2,771 last year.

Of sales last year, six per cent (179) were in Bocking Blackwater, making it the busiest area for buyers.

At the other end of the scale, Gosfield and Greenstead Green saw just 34 properties sold in 2021, earning it the title of quietest area of the district’s property market.

The ONS figures also reveal the trendiest area – the one which saw the fastest growth in sales – in Braintree.

Of the eight wards with at least 100 properties sold, Bocking Blackwater saw 44 per cent more properties sold in 2021 than in 2020, followed by Braintree Central and Beckers Green (43 per cent) and Witham Central (30 per cent).

The Centre for Economics and Business Research said that following a period of significant growth during the pandemic, it expects house prices to experience downward pressure over the next year, as a result of sharp rises in mortgage rates.

Karl Thompson, an economist at the think tank, said the strongest price contractions are expected outside of London and the South East, causing greater regional price disparities.

The number of residential property sales in England increased by 21 per cent to 821,407 between the end of 2020 and the end of last year.