The coastal town with a 'community feel' and Essex's cheapest homes

The coast at Clacton is one of the area's most popular attractions
-Credit: (Image: Matt Lee/EssexLive)

Essex is often known for its gorgeous seaside views, acres of rolling countryside and incredible walks to explore. Despite being home to such attractive and popular features, one area of Essex has been identified as the county's cheapest postcode area to live.

The CO15 postcode includes areas of Tendring district along the coast from Jaywick to Holland-on-Sea. It therefore includes some popular parts of the Essex coastline.

Analysis of figures by EssexLive found the postcode area to be Essex's cheapest area to buy a home in the 12 months leading to March 2024. There were 497 sales in the year period with an average price of £238,690.

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This was a decrease from the 864 properties sold and average price of £245,876 in the previous year. Clacton is mostly known for its attraction-filled pier and miles of shoreline.

In the past year it's been given the title of 'unhappiest place in Essex' after a survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It has also, however, been dubbed among the happiest place to live in England according to RightMove.

The town was mentioned within Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's anti-social behaviour action plan launched in March. Issues about public drinking, dirty streets and empty shops were raised to the Government. Last October the Government announced it would receive £20m to regenerate the town centre,

Peter Leonard, 79, previously told EssexLive, he loves the local area. He said: "Would you rather walk along here or walk through a town centre. I love it, I really do. There's certainly a community feel to the area.

"I come from Hertfordshire and when I go back to see my family the traffic drives me crazy. The only concern I have here. is the potholes. They drive me mad - it's like doing dodgems!"

"I'll walk along the high street and the shops are everything we want," said Jill Ayling, 76. "It's lovely. It's nice to have the independents. We've got everything we need for our age group."

Bob Goddard, 74, who has lived between Holland and Clacton for the past 40 years, said: "I walk from Jaywick to Clacton and everyone says hello and talks to you. What more can you ask for? You walk through some towns or cities and people will walk on the other side of the road instead."

He added: "It's such a friendly place to live. Some people will blank you but the are more that speak to you than those. It's a real community feel. Nearly everyone says hello even as far up as Jaywick.

"The problem people you hear of are everywhere - they're not just in places like Clacton or Jaywick. It's not an issue that affects just here."

After CO15, the next cheapest postcode areas were CO12 (Harwich), CO1 (Colchester and RM19 (Purfleet). All of them had average prices around £250,000 or less.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, was CM4 which includes the villages of Blackmore, Fyerning, and Stock as well as Ingatestone. There were 94 properties sold here in the year ending March 2024 with the county's highest average price at £821,132.

Middlesbrough is the cheapest place to buy a home in England and Wales. Homes in the TS1 postcode area, which cover’s the town’s centre, sold for an average of £69,157 each in the 12 months to the end of April. That’s less than any postcode area in the country with at least 50 sales over the last year.

Belgravia has the highest average sale price of any postcode area in England and Wales to have had at least 50 sales over the last 12 months. Houses sold for an average of £4.26 million in the SW1X postcode area.

Four other postcode areas had higher averages, but all had fewer than 50 sales - W1J (Mayfair) at £6.12 million, SW1A (Whitehall) at £5.84 million, W1S (Hanover Square) at £5.66 million, and W1K (Mayfair) at £5.378 million.

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