Are you ready for April council tax increases?

Are you ready for April council tax increases?
Council tax bills are on their way up again from April, but if you’re worried about rising household bills, remortgaging could help reduce your outgoings.

Average households in England paying Band D council tax rates are facing a 4.5% increase in their council tax bills for 2019/20, equivalent to £75.60 per property, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). The Institute says this is the second highest increase in council tax over the last decade, surpassed only by last year’s 5.1% rise, which added an average of £80.92 to annual bills.

CIPFA’s findings are based on 328 responses to questionnaires sent to authorities in England and Wales. Of the 312 respondents from England, 301 authorities said they would be increasing their council tax.

Households in the capital will see the biggest rise in council tax at 5.1%. This will bring the total average annual council tax bill for Londoners to £1,476 per household, which is still much lower than the £1,884 a year that the average household in the North East will pay.

How to cut your monthly costs

If you’re looking to reduce your monthly bills to help counter April’s council tax rise and you haven’t reviewed your mortgage for a while, remortgaging could potentially result in substantial savings.

Many people have already taken action and remortgaged, with the Bank of England reporting that there were 50,400 remortgage approvals in January, up from the recent average of 48,900.

The good news is that interest rates remain extremely competitive, with lenders keen to attract new business.

As a result, those currently sitting on their lender’s Standard Variable Rate could save hundreds or even thousands of pounds by making the move to one of the better fixed rates currently available on the market. Remember to take into account any fees involved in switching as well as the interest rate, as this will affect the total cost of a deal.

Seek expert advice if you need help working out which remortgage deals you might be eligible for. A broker can talk you through all the available options and advise which mortgage is best for you based on your individual circumstances.

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