The New Year has brought high hopes for estate agents who predict that 2014 will see a boom in buyers but also a spike in prices.

Today, Mullucks Wells directors William Wells stated that he believes that there will be ten times more buyers than available homes this year in Epping and the surrounding areas.

However, the confident businessman also predicted a rise in house prices in the next 12 months.

Following the busiest December that the estate agents has seen in many years, Mr Wells is thinking big for 2014.

He said: ““We’re predicting a 10% rise in property prices by the end of the year although that figure is unlikely to be achieved by all properties across the whole of the region.

“Homes which are inexpensive to run, have convenient transport links and access to good education nearby will inevitably lead the way, with others lagging behind.

“But overall, demand is likely to far outstrip supply - particularly in prime locations such as Bishop’s Stortford, Epping, Great Dunmow and Saffron Walden.

“More rural areas are likely to take a little longer to recover. However, it’s true to say that the property market would seem to be at its healthiest for several years.”

Mr Wells also said that it would be a “better year” for sellers who should remain realistic when valuing their home.

“I expect sales to increase more quickly in the lower stamp duty brackets first,” He added.

“The only downside is that those wishing to buy a house here are going to have to pay more in the future.

“Other factors to consider are the eye-wateringly punitive rates of stamp duty especially now prices are rising, with bands that haven’t been looked at for donkey’s years, as well as the possibility of an earlier than expected rise in interest rates, which now seems increasingly likely.”