A SHORTAGE of semi-detached houses in Brentwood has seen prices continue to rise in the borough.

Research done by Balgores Property Group has shown in particular that a two-bedroom cottage in Brentwood has risen 16 per cent, to £290,000, in the past year.

On average, prices have gone up 17 per cent across Essex.

Martin Gibbon, group director of Balgores said: “Over the last few years, the age of the first time buyer has increased, now standing at an average of 36 years old.

“First-time buyers are skipping the first rung of the ladder and opting for three bed semis, as by this time they tend to have families and need more space than what is offered by a typical starter home.”