England’s richest areas have the lowest council tax bills

London borough of Westminster, where average house price is more than £1m, has England’s lowest average council tax bill ..

New analysis has revealed how London boroughs receive some of England’s lowest council tax bills, despite the highest house prices in the country. The study, by money transfer experts Xendpay, examined official ONS statistics for the latest house prices and council tax rates, which are calculated based on the value of a property as of 1 April 1991

Comparing more than 300 areas of England revealed that the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea now has the UK’s highest average house price, measured at £1,220,511.49 in February 2021, but residents there also enjoy England’s fifth lowest Council Tax bill – an average of just £1,515.

Westminster and Wandsworth each have an average bill just under £1,000, the two lowest rates in the country. However the average price of a Westminster property is £1,000,559.73, the second highest in the UK, while in Wandsworth it is £617,220.48, the UK’s eighth highest. Conversely County Durham has the third lowest (311 out of 313) average house price in England – measured at £112,722.16 in February 2021 – but its residents receive the eighth-highest average Council Tax: £2,503.

The average house price in Hartlepool is £115,437.76, which ranks as 308th out of 313, but its average council tax bill is 2,528, the sixth-highest in the country. Rutland has the highest average council tax bill in England, £2,568, and its lowest rate – Band A – is  £1,417, only £147 less than Westminster’s highest possible rate – Band H – which is £1,564.

Permission houses for sale in Hartlepool, County Durham

Out of the 25 areas with the lowest average Council Tax, 20 are in London, where the average house price of £496,269.06 is nearly double that across England – £268,291.40.

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for Xendpay said: “Council Tax was contentious when it was first introduced and more than a quarter of a century later there are still plenty of questions about how it is calculated. Property prices today are unrecognisable compared to 1991, and many areas have completely transformed, so these figures paint a fascinating picture.”

The research was carried out by Xendpay, which aims to reduce the cost of international money transfer while maintaining the best possible customer service. It provides a no-fee international money transfer service to bank accounts, offering exchange rates usually only available to multinational corporations, without compromising on transfer times or reliability.

England’s biggest council tax discrepancies, by Xendpay 

Top five biggest bills compared to house price

Area of EnglandAverage house priceAverage house price rank, out of 313Average council taxAverage council tax rank, out of 313Difference between house price rank and council tax rank
County Durham£112,722.16311£2,5038303
Hartlepool£115,437.76308£2,5286302
Pendle£123,882.71305£2,47716289
Middlesbrough£126,079.05303£2,47715288
Gateshead£142,214.44295£2,47117278

Top five smallest bills compared to house price

Area of EnglandAverage house priceAverage house price rank, out of 313Average council taxAverage council tax rank, out of 313Difference between house price rank and council tax rank
Westminster£1,000,559.732£945 313 311
Kensington and Chelsea£1,220,511.491£1,515 309 308
City of London£675,308.916£1,217 311 305
Wandsworth£617,220.488£966 312 304
Hammersmith and Fulham£659,864.607£1,359 310 303

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