People living in three of East Lancashire's boroughs are paying some of the highest council tax rates, despite house prices in the area being the lowest in the country.

Householders in Pendle, Hyndburn and Blackburn with Darwen, as well as those living in Preston, are paying on average more than £2,200 a year in council tax, while house prices in these regions average little more than £136,000.

In contrast, those living in the areas with the highest house prices, namely the London boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and the City of London, where house prices are in excess of £1,220,000, are paying the least in council tax.

New analysis carried out 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 April 1 1991.

Accrington town hall

Accrington town hall

Comparing more than 300 areas of England, the study 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 per year.

The shocking analysis found that despite house prices in Blackburn with Darwen costing on average £122,264.18, the borough had some of the highest council tax rates, with people forced to pay up to £2,244 per year to their local authority.

In Hyndburn, where the average house price as of February 2021 is £92,173, householders are paying on average £2,337 per year in council tax; while those living in Pendle, which has the 11th lowest average house price in the country at £123,882.71, are paying a whopping £2,477 per year in council tax.

In Preston, where average house price is around £136,219, council tax bills are costing people £2,432 per annum.

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.

The borough with the lowest council tax rates in the whole country is Westminster, where people will pay on average just £945 per year on a house with an average price of £1,000,559.73.

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.”