A new report by the National Housing Federation shows that the average price of a house in Southend in 2014 was £233,874 (up from £216,864 the year before), while average earnings were £26,936.
An income of £53,457 would now be needed to get an 80% mortgage for a house in Southend.
The situation for renters is even more challenging, with average rents in Southend up 9.7% in just one year – the third fastest rate of increase in the whole country. The average rent in October 2015 was £759 a month.
Inadequate housing supply in Southend is compounded by the soaring demand from people who can no longer afford to live in London. Average house prices in the capital are more than double those in Southend, and Londoners are realising they can afford a large, family home by the sea for less than the price of a tiny flat within the M25.
The National Housing Federation report concluded: “There is an acute housing crisis in the East of England. Like many parts of the country, people in work are struggling to afford a home to rent or buy.
“House prices are similar to the national average, yet this masks areas where homes are way out of reach for people on average wages. In parts of Essex, house prices are around nine times the average income.”