Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index 2017 has just been released this week, and though Leigh-on-Sea is no longer the happiest place to live in Britain as it was last year, it still comes 2nd! (Still an incredibly respectable rank, that scores Leigh-on-Sea major bragging rights.)

According to Rightmove, Leigh-on-Sea scores “extremely well for essential local services such as schools and doctors, a strong community spirit, good pubs and restaurants and friendly neighbours”. Well, we can’t argue with that!

But what about Southend-on-Sea?

We’re close neighbours after all, so surely Southend can’t be too far behind…

Unfortunately, Southend is staggering behind at


In fact, we don’t even make it into the top 10 for the East of England region – we’re #15!

How are places ranked for the Happy at Home Index?

The 2017 index is based on a study by Rightmove, consisting of over 17,100 people across 159 areas in Great Britain who were asked how happy they are where they live, as well as being asked to rate where they live based on 12 happiness factors.

These factors include:

  • Community Spirit
  • Sense of belonging
  • I can be myself
  • I feel safe
  • I earn enough to live comfortably
  • The people are friendly and polite
  • Sports and recreational activities
  • Arts and culture
  • Opportunities to develop skills
  • Nature and green spaces
  • Essential local services e.g. doctors, schools
  • Non-essential amenities e.g. restaurants, pubs


Abiola Oni, Rightmove’s Research Manager, further comments on the ranking factors of the Happy at Home Index:

“We’ve looked at the connection between each of the factors and what contributes to how happy people say they are overall, and it’s the people in an area and how someone feels about living there that makes the biggest difference. So the strength of community spirit, people feeling like they belong and that they can be themselves are all more important than the services and money that they have, though these do still contribute to overall happiness.”

Last year, when Leigh-on-Sea was crowned the happiest place to live in Britain, the town “scored high for community spirit and a strong sense of belonging, and 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”.

According to estate agents Blackshaw Homes, the main bulk of properties in the Leigh-on-Sea area are 3 and 4 bedroom houses.

A Rightmove comparison between property types in Leigh-on-Sea and Southend-on-Sea show that in 2016 most property sales for both areas involved flats. However, the average property prices are rather different…

Property Southend Leigh
Flat £167,893 £240,102
Terraced £260,952 £369,626
Semi-Detached £315,715 £397,161
Overall £266,886 £360,631

The overall average price last year for other nearby areas:

  • Thorpe Bay – £489,972
  • Chalkwell – £351,643
  • Eastwood – £305,657
  • Westcliff – £268,357
  • Southchurch – £228,824


It certainly would be interesting to see the demographics of those surveyed by Rightmove, to see the percentages of participants from each region as well as their property ownership.

The Top 10 Happiest Places

  1. Leamington Spa
  2. Leigh-on-Sea
  3. Wirral
  4. Harrogate
  5. Tunbridge Wells
  6. King’s Lynn
  7. Epsom
  8. Richmond upon Thames
  9. Poole
  10. Chichester


  • http://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/happy-at-home
  • http://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/articles/leamington-spa-named-happiest-place-to-live-in-great-britain/