A bidding war which erupted over a rundown three bedroom house and ended with the buyer paying well above the asking price, highlights just how competitive today’s property market is.

The detached property, which was described as being in need of full renovation, came on the market at £350,000 with Beresfords estate agents.

But within 48 hours numerous buyers had viewed the London Road home, in Braintree, and four buyers had entered into a price war to secure the sale.

This is just one of many examples from across the county which show just how fast Essex’s property market is moving.

Another three bedroom home in Park Road, Brentwood, was under offer within 24 hours of being put on the market.

Latest figures from Beresfords estate agents show a 40 per cent increase in the number of its properties sold in 2013 compared to the year before.

It claims new buyers are up by 26 per cent and puts the increase down to schemes such as the Government Help to Buy project.

Managing director Paul Beresford said: “Not only did we see an increase in the number of prospective buyers entering the market last year, but the 40 per cent rise in transactions shows just how serious these buyers are.

“We are also seeing an increasing influx of buyers from London and its suburbs who are drawn by the fast commuting times.

“Essex’s commuter hubs are attracting investors because of their attractive yields, up to eight per cent, and the growing number of young professionals looking to rent in central locations.

“The continued infrastructural investment, as well as a wealth of new retail and leisure facilities, is adding to the draw of the county and, consequently, the potential for long-term asset growth.”