SOUTHEND’S transition into a city could boost house prices by up to 14 per cent, new figures have suggested.

Research by an estate agent comparison site has looked at figures across the country to see how a move to city status brings a spike in property prices.

Today in Southend the average house price is £322,656.

But the findings, by GetAgent, say the average increase of 14.2 per cent could see property prices climb as high as £368,336 over the next year.

The town was granted the honour in memory of Sir David Amess MP, who was killed last month. The Queen officially granted the status to the town, which has a population of around 190,000.


Colby Short, founder of GetAgent, said: “It can help put a location firmly on the map which in turn attracts further investment into the economy.

“The by-product of such investment is often more employment opportunities and this can help draw people to live there on a long-term basis.”

The comparison site analysed house price growth across six cities in England and Wales which have gained city status in the 21st Century and how these prices changed over the year after becoming a city.

It found on average house price growth across newly designated cities increased by 14.2 per cent over the following year, versus just 11.6 per cent across England and Wales as a whole.

The status doesn’t always guarantee above average growth, however.


Reacting to the report’s findings Ian Gilbert, leader of Southend Council questioned whether or not a 14 per cent increase in house prices could actually occur once Southend becomes a city.

He said: “City status will definitely help us attract investment which could then boost the prosperity of the area.

“But I am personally not sure it would have that direct an increase on house prices as there are always so many other factors when it comes that.

“Generally though the affordability of housing is a problem and that is why I have always wanted to do more provide affordable housing and social housing.”