Essex is becoming an increasingly more popular area to live in as homebuyers look for their next home.

The county is full of unique places to live in, with plenty of stunning beauty spots, scenic villages and commutable areas near larger towns and cities.

The coronavirus pandemic has also caused a rethink about where they want to live with some jobs effectively carried out at home.

Zoopla has compiled a list of the most expensive places to live in Essex, with the areas with the highest average asking price for a house.

This list was calculated using Zoopla's pricing estimates, which takes both transactions and listing data into account.

According to their research, the average price paid for a house in Essex is £365,582 and the current average house value is £371,062.

Read more: The 5 towns in Essex that everyone wants to live in

Here are the places across the county where the highest average house price was paid over the last 12 months.

Ingatestone - Average house price paid £759,633

Ingatestone village, located between Brentwood and Chelmsford, is situated near the former Essex Great Road (now the A12) which has been a major route between Colchester and London since Roman times.

In the last 12 months there have been more than 70 house sales in the area.

Chigwell - Average house price paid £653,799

The town in the Epping Forest district is on the boundary of London. With easy access to the capital it has no doubt proved popular with buyers with 103 sales in the last 12 months.

Epping - Average house price paid £619,395

The market town is also just a short hop into London and has also been popular in the last 12 months with 127 sales.

Average value of homes have fallen in the area, down £3,474 on 12 months ago.

Loughton - Average house price paid £606,898

Once again the town is in the Epping Forest district and just a stones thrown from London making it popular with buyers.

There were 201 sales made in the last 12 months.

Brentwood - Average house price paid £556,039

Brentwood’s name is derived from ‘Burnt Wood’, referring to a clearing made in the dense forest covering this part of Essex by a fire.

The area has numerous country parks, high streets and easy access to London.

Ongar - Average house price paid £552,867

The town is in the Epping Forest district and is located near the towns of Harlow, Epping and Brentwood.

Facilities include guest houses, pubs and local attraction such as the Epping Ongar Railway, which operates steam and diesel hauled trains through 5.5 miles of picturesque rolling countryside and through Epping Forest, along the former London Underground Central Line.

Billericay - Average house price paid £534,167

The town in the borough of Basildon has seen 268 sales in the last 12 months.

It is a popular location with commuters due to its close proximity to London.

Billericay is also the setting of the BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey as the home of Gavin Shipman and his parents but filming took place in Wales.