HOUSE prices in Colchester have increased more sharply than in other parts of the county, latest figures suggest.

The average house price in 2012 was £199,494, an increase of 4.2 per cent upon the previous year.

The figure is based on the cost of a three-bedroom, detached house, with last year’s average price said to be £191,382.

Mortgage lender Halifax, which released the figures, said across Essex average house prices were up by 2.1 per cent.

Southend experienced the biggest house price rise of any town or city during 2012.

Prices there rose by 15 per cent, compared with a 1 per cent average fall across the UK as a whole.