LONDONERS snapping up Southend homes will hike up property prices and make them out of reach for residents, council bosses fear.

As property experts Property Market Index revealed more people from the city are moving to Southend, concerns are rising about the impact on the borough’s residents.

Lousia Wright, 34, of Esplanade Gardens, Southend said there’s definitely a danger Londoners moving to the seaside town will affect residents from the borough.

She said: “I’ve seen evidence of this and think it’s been happening for a little while now.

“Prices have just gone astronomical and crazy especially down on the seafront.

“I think it’s a difficult issue as people should have the right to move to wherever they want but it does mean people in Southend will lose out.

“It would be nice if developers had more affordable homes and residents in the town were given a bit more priority.

“I think people want to live on the seafront for the lovely sea views and also the good links to London.”

Ian Gilbert, Labour leader of Southend Council, warned people moving in from out of the area can cause price hikes which puts borough residents at a disadvantage.

The councillor for housing and communities said: “I can see why residents are concerned about rising prices.

“Whilst it’s good for the town it does cause problems for people living here who are looking for a new home.

“I think it shows the need for as much affordable housing in our new developments. While it’s good to see the town is seen as desirable for people living in other areas it does hit our own residents.”

Seafront residents said they love their top notch views but worry about the cost for first time buyers.

A father-of-two of The Leas, Southend, said: “We really make the most of our sea views and it’s so good to have everything so close.

“Developers should be taking more responsibility to keep cheaper homes for residents in the area - especially the first time buyers.”