Essex’s first city
Chelmsford in Essex has been honoured with city status and joins Perth in Scotland and St Asaph in North Wales as the countrys newest cities in commemoration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee. The winners fought off competition from 22 other towns, including bookmakers favourite Reading. Chelmsford is the first and - currently only - city in Essex and beat county rivals Colchester and Southend to the accolade.

Schuyler Pratt, of Jackson-Stops and Staff Chelmsford Office said: Chelmsfords newly acquired city status is a great endorsement for the
area and is something it has wanted for quite a while after all, our football club has been calling themselves Chelmsford City since 1938. It remains to be seen what effect becoming a city will have on the local property market but the new status will raise the areas profile and has definitely given it a stamp of approval.

Schuyler Pratt also thinks that the recent news that local grammar schools plan to change their admissions policy and offer 80 per cent of their places to children living within 12.5 miles of the city will almost certainly increase interest in property in the area, as desperate parents try to get their children in to two of the top five best grammar schools in the country King Edward VI for Boys and Chelmsford County High School for Girls.

He says: At the moment, children are commuting as far away as London to attend these two very popular grammar schools and the teachers find that the travelling is making the children tired in lessons. If the new policy comes in to place it will take effect from September 2013 and will no doubt stimulate parental demand for homes in Chelmsford and its neighbouring villages to be in with the best chance of securing a place for their child.

Currently over 60 per cent of Jackson-Stops & Staff, Chelmsfords buyers come from London; looking for pleasant countryside, more space and a fast commute into the Square Mile. Popular villages within a five mile drive of Chelmsford train station include Little and Great Waltham which are on the north side of the city and offer easy access into the station. Roxwell is a pretty village to the west of Chelmsford which is also sought after. The villages all have the usual amenities such as pubs, primary schools,
village shops and churches. The most popular properties in the area are four bedroom detached family homes, costing between 800,000
and 1.25 million.

Schuyler Pratt comments that most people moving out of London will be cash buyers, having sold or decided to retain their London homes. Properties with easy access to the mainline railway stations and the A12 trunk road hold their value well. The savvy buyer prepared to drive
20 minutes to a station can find property that is much more keenly priced in some beautiful villages or open countryside. Schuyler Pratt says, Chelmsford might be known as the dormitory for London, due to its 30 minute commute in to the City. However it offers far more and now that Chelmsford has a city status it will hopefully become recognised not just for its first class cricket and schools but as a regional centre for shopping, sports and the arts.