Ouch !: Southwark sees largest council tax hike in London

Southwark residents have seen the largest increases to their council tax bills than anywhere else in the capital, research reveals.

Council tax bills have risen a whopping 36.8 per cent in Southwark since 2017 – the highest in London – a study by letting agents Benham and Reeves has found.

These eye-watering increases mean that council tax bills are on average £ 300 more expensive than they were five years ago.

A Band D property in Southwark will pay £ 1,527.80 in council tax for 2021/22, up six per cent from last year.

Yet the big squeeze is being felt across the capital.

The research by Benham and Reeves shows that the average Londoner pays £ 1,374 in council tax per year, up 26.8 per cent in the last five years.

Richmond has the highest council tax per property with £ 2,065 per year, according to Benham and Reeves’ research.

Whereas Barnet has the highest sum of council tax paid on an annual basis, with £ 258.5 million paid across the 146,730 homes in the borough.

London homeowners and tenants now pay a total of £ 4,993,798,878 a year to council kitties – £ 1.2 billion more per year compared to just five years ago.

But this still falls far short of what councils need to keep vital local services running at today’s levels.

Southwark Council social homes rent to increase again this year

Councils in England face extra pressures of almost £ 8 billion by 2024/25, amid spiralling costs and cuts by the central government.

Vital services, such as care for older and disabled people, child protection, homelessness prevention, waste and recycling, and road maintenance, continue to face an uncertain future as a result.

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said: “Council tax is one of the core costs that many homebuyers fail to consider when looking to buy a home and the sum owed each year can differ drastically depending on where you choose to live.

“Much like our home insurance or energy bills, it’s also subject to change and the average London homeowner has seen council tax bill increases squeeze their cost of living by a further £ 300 a year in the last five years alone.

“So it’s an important one to consider when it comes to the ongoing affordability of your home, as unlike an expensive phone contract or comprehensive TV package, it can not be dodged.”

The increasing cost of council tax faced by households is not the only thing contributing to the enormous annual bill in London.

An additional 150,000 homes have been built in the capital over the last five years.

These new properties have contributed to a £ 1.2bn increase in the total sum of council tax paid across London.

These figures follow an announcement last week that inflation has surged to a 30 year high, with gas and electricity costs set to climb higher still.

Those living in London already face some of the highest house prices and rental values ​​in the nation, with the capital also home to the highest household expenditure.

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