Media Releases

Time to reinvest stamp duty windfall in first home buyers

28 October 2014

The New South Wales Government should use increases in stamp duty revenues to help support first home buyers who are struggling to enter the property market, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales.

First quarter figures from the Office of State Revenue for the 2014-15 financial year show stamp duty paid on residential property sales has risen by $500 million compared to the July to September quarter last year.

“This is already more than double the June state budget forecast of a $200 million increase in stamp duty revenue for the entire 2014-15 financial year,” REINSW Deputy President John Cunningham said.

“It is now time for the NSW Government to stop gloating about an earlier return to surplus and instead give first home buyers the helping hand they need by reinstating grants for existing properties, the real preference of those seeking to enter the property market.

“The current incentives for first home buyers are simply not working. By offering grants on new builds only, they are pitting first homebuyers against cashed up investors and as well as foreign investors.

“There is really no excuse now for the government not to provide this much needed further assistance,” he said.

Mr Cunningham also noted the enormous windfall for the Government highlighted the need to review stamp duty rates.

“The only transfer duty rate change that has been made in NSW since the Duties Act came into force on 1 July 1998 has been the introduction of the premium property duty rate of 7 per cent for residential properties in excess of $3 million,” Mr Cunningham said.

“There has never been a review of the transfer duty thresholds in NSW to recognise bracket creep.

“The current two lowest transfer duty thresholds in NSW have been in place since 18 December 1974, 39 years, while the other thresholds (apart from the premium property duty) have been in place since 18 December 1986, some 27 years.

“High stamp duty rates are a major barrier to entry for first home buyers. Property prices are well beyond what those who established these rates ever dreamed.

“Now is the time to amend this injustice and further help first home buyers and those seeking to upsize to the next level of property, which is being restricted by the current stamp duty farce,” Mr Cunningham said.

For further information or to speak with REINSW Deputy President John Cunningham please contact Helen Hull at media@reinsw.com.au or on 0419 642 961.