The Essex seaside resort once named among the worst destinations - with the most expensive house prices

Holidaymakers enjoy the beach in Southend
In 2022 Southend was ranked the third-worst seaside destination in Britain in a Which? survey -Credit:Getty

It's the Essex resort that was once named among the worst seaside destinations - but it's also one of the most expensive places to buy a house. Its attractions failed to win over visitors in a Which? survey but it seems that homeowners take a very different view.

The seaside destination in question is Southend-on-Sea, which became a city in 2022. And in the same year, the consumer guide's survey found that people were less than impressed with its offerings.

It gave the beach, food and drink, tourist attractions, scenery, shopping and value for money only two stars out of five and the destination was also handed one star on peace and quiet and three stars for its famous pier. The plethora of low scores saw Southend dubbed the third-worst seaside destination in Britain.

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However, when it comes to living in Southend, it seems to be a very different story, with house prices booming. Southend is in tenth place in insurance company Go Compare's top ten most expensive areas of the UK. It says the average price in Southend is £391,438, with a salary of £77,882 needed to buy here.

Southend has moved down the list a little, and was in ninth place in the same rankings before the pandemic. Back in 2019, the average price of a house was £335,123, with £66,678 the salary needed to buy.

It seems to be a mixed picture all round when the national judges take a look at Southend. Last year it was at the receiving end of a scathing review in the Telegraph, which ranked 20 of the UK's seaside towns, looking at "gentrification factors" such as housing and high streets, regeneration, conservation and cultural clout.

While acknowledging the Southend had some fine-dining options, including "smart hotels like The Seven and some decent pubs,” the national newspaper said regeneration was "patchy and predictable" and the town’s "road to reinvention looks longer even than that famous 1.34-mile pier".

And it should be said that by last year's Which? seaside survey, Southend's fortunes had improved a little. In 2023 it was only the ninth worst, according to respondents.

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