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Southend house prices see sharpest rise in 2012

House prices in Southend in Essex recorded the biggest rise 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.

Basingstoke in Hampshire - and the London commuter towns of Rochester, St Albans and Dartford - made up the rest of the top five.

Craigavon in County Armagh recorded the largest drop - down by 18.4% - while nine of the bottom ten were all outside the South.