Rightmove’s annual Happy at Home Index asks residents to rate where they live based on 12 happiness factors, with almost 24,000 people taking part.
The study asks residents to rank twelve factors about their local area, with Leigh-on-Sea scoring high for community spirit and a strong sense of belonging. Locals say there’s plenty to do as well as the town tops the list for good access to sports and arts activities and opportunities to develop skills.
The twelve factors in the study range from how friendly the neighbours are and how much people feel that they can be themselves, to how good the local services are.
Councillor John Lamb, Leader of Southend Council, says: “This is brilliant news. We all know what a fantastic place Leigh-on-Sea is to live, and so it is wonderful to have this recognised nationally by the very people that live here.
“Leigh-on-Sea really does have something for everyone and I am not surprised this makes local people happy. I know many residents who work in the city and they cannot wait to get back in the evenings and to be here at the weekend because of what the town has to offer.
“From the historic old town and its wonderful fishing heritage, beaches, traditional pubs and cockle sheds to the vibrant Broadway with its eclectic mix of independent retailers, restaurants, and bars, there really is so many opportunities to enjoy your spare time. We are also blessed by great transport links across the Borough and into the city, good schools and wonderful parks and gardens that are so well kept and improve the quality of life for local people.
“Whilst Leigh-on-Sea has grown in recent years it has maintained its community feel and community spirit with numerous cultural and community events such as the Regatta, the nationally renowned Folk Festival and Leigh Art trail which are all led by the local community and very popular with people from across the Borough and beyond.”
Rightmove’s Research Manager Abiola Oni said: “Well it seems the saying that we do like to ‘be beside the seaside’ is true, whether you’re down in the South East or up in Scotland! Obviously what ‘happy’ means to different people can vary greatly, but when you compare which the factors that score highest in the happiest areas, it shows just how important having friendly people in the local community area is alongside the services and amenities, which is something buyers often tell us when they are looking in new areas to live. Space is also one of the most important things when people are looking for a new home, so it’s not surprising that places with open spaces such as beautiful parks and beaches have featured in the top ten.”