Southend in Essex recorded the biggest rise in house prices among major UK towns and cities over the past year, according to research by Halifax.
The average selling price in the seaside resort was 14.8% higher than the previous year, rising to £198,418 by the end of 2012, compared with an improvement of 2.1% on average across the whole of Essex. Lowestoft in Suffolk recorded the sixth largest price rise of 12.7 %
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: "Nationally, conditions in the housing market have been largely unchanged over the past 12 months with little overall movement in either house prices or sales for the second consecutive year. "
He expects continuing broad stability in house prices nationally in 2013, with the North/South divide in price performance likely to persist next year.
Mr Ellis said: "House prices are expected to be strongest in London and the South East as this part of the country performs best in economic terms."