Southend has seen the biggest rise in house prices among the country's major towns and cities over the past year.
According to the 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.
Basingstoke in Hampshire experienced the second biggest rise in house prices with a 14.7% gain, while three more towns within commuting distance of London - Rochester, St Albans and Dartford - make up the top five.
More top news
So-called legal highs are set to be banned en masse. But what are they, and why is this drastic move necessary?
The new Psychoactive Substances Bill creates a blanket ban on the sale of legal highs, with up to 7 years in jail for selling them.
Friday morning's weather for the east of the region