LOCATIONS in north Essex have proved to be some of the most popular places to buy a home in the UK, according to a new study.

Despite coronavirus property buyers have been snapping up homes in Stanway and Kirby Cross.

In both areas more homes have been sold in the first nine months of 2020 than in the entirety of 2019.

Research by Rightmove found Stanway, where the average house price sits at just over £310,000, has already seen five per cent more properties sold than it did in 2019.

Kirby Cross, on the other hand, has seen a sales increase of nine per cent when paralleled with last year’s end-of-year results.

Real estate experts believe the influx in interest in more rural areas is a result of consumers now wanting to move out of busy cities.

Paul Dundas, Stanway councillor and leader of Colchester Council’s Conservative group, believes what the village has to offer is attractive to buyers.

He said: “It is not hard to see why Stanway is so popular.

“It has easy access to transport links and an ever-growing selection of shops.

“Also, leisure facilities, excellent community halls, a good community spirit, and it is welcoming to new arrivals.

“In short, there are lots of things on the doorstep so it is not surprising the demand is high.”

He also says, however, the increase in the volume of buyers choosing Stanway is likely down to the hundreds of new homes being built.

“I think the statistics may have been skewed by that,” he added.

“Despite the growing pains of the new developments, it is not hard to see why Stanway is so popular.”

Paul Clifton, councillor for Kirby Cross, is also delighted his ward made the cut.

The average house price in the village is £307,821.

“It is really nice people want to come and live in Kirby Cross, because it is a great place to live,” he said.

“We are not far from the beautiful coastline, there is a low crime rate, we have decent schools, and good community spirit.

“I have lived here for eight years, and it is such as nice and calm place.

“I have never been happier living in a place than I am in Kirby Cross.”