22 November 2019
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Stamp duty cuts working for first time buyers

John McGrath
18 September 2017

By John McGrath
Stamp duty cuts and concessions in NSW and VIC appear to be working well, with new statistics showing a substantial increase in the number of first home purchases.
The latest Housing Finance figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics cover the month of July, which was the first month that stamp duty changes became effective in both NSW and VIC.
In NSW, the number of first homes financed in July was 1,950, which was a significant increase (28%) on the 1,528 in June. We haven’t seen a number this high in about five years.
The proportion of the market comprising first home buyers was 11% – up from 9% in June. We’re still a long way off the long term average of 17%, but a 2% change in just one month is very encouraging.
In VIC, the number of first homes financed in July was 2,619 – a four-year high and a decent increase (11%) on June when 2,366 homes were financed. This took first home buyers to 17% of the marketplace, up from 14% in June. (The long term average is 21%.) 

To re-cap, here are the stamp duty cuts, concessions and grants on offer to first home buyers in each state.

  • No stamp duty on first home purchases up to $650,000 (new and existing property)
  • Stamp duty concessions on first home purchases up to $800,000 (new and existing)
  • Buyers of brand new properties also receive a $10,000 grant for homes up to $600,000


  • No stamp duty on first home purchases up to $600,000 (new and existing property)
  • Stamp duty concessions on first home purchases up to $750,000 (new and existing)
  • First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) doubled to $20,000 for regional buyers who build or buy a brand new home up to $750,000. Regional areas include the cities of Geelong and Ballarat
  • Original FHOG of $10,000 remains available to Melbourne buyers of brand new properties

On top of this, there’s the Federal Government’s new First Home Super Saver Scheme which also commenced on July 1. It enables first home buyers to make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year into their super (up to an overall total of $30,000) to save for their first home.
These contributions are taxed at the usual super rate of just 15% and can be withdrawn from July 1, 2018, along with any earnings, to buy a first home.
The savings on offer represent serious money and won’t be around forever, so I implore young people to take notice of this opportunity. 
Most Australian mums and dads would tell their young adult kids that property is a cornerstone asset that has provided them with decades of financial security and significant capital growth for use in their retirement.
If there’s a way to get into the market, especially with so much assistance now available, young people should consider taking it. This is particularly so for regional buyers who are essentially getting access to major savings aimed at city buyers who have to pay much higher prices. Take advantage of it!

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