1 February, 2024
Call to review stamp duties
WITH home ownership levels steadily on the decline in Queensland, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is calling for an overdue revision and uplift to the stamp duty concession threshold rates for first home buyers.
As it currently stands, Queenslanders can buy their first home and pay no stamp duty provided the property is under $500,000.
REIQ chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella said the peak body was advocating for the concessional threshold for first home buyers be increased to at least $750,000 to reflect current day property prices.
“The average cost of an entry level property has rapidly outpaced the current threshold of the first home buyer’s concession being $500,000 and has not been reviewed since 2008,” she said.
“Comparing the threshold to the annual median house price for greater Brisbane of $760,500, and for Brisbane LGA of $1 million, it raises the question of the effectiveness of a first home buyer stamp duty concession when the ability to utilise it is severely limited.
“While we are yet to see any appetite from the state government to tackle the inefficient and regressive tax that is stamp duty, a sensible interim measure would be to lift the concessional threshold for first home buyers to a figure of at least $750,000.
“With decade low numbers of first home buyers accessing the concession, it would be a sensible starting point for the suite of stamp duty reforms that the REIQ have been strenuously advocating for over many years.”
Ms Mercorella said stamp duty was a key part of the housing affordability and accessibility issue.
“Stamp duty can add tens of thousands to the overall cost of buying a new home which stifles housing mobility,” she said.
“It is an inherently lazy tax that rewards the state government coffers while punishing those starting their home ownership journey.
“Over the past 10 years we have seen stamp duty on property transfers nearly triple – however there has been no commensurate investment in the provision of infrastructure for new housing or social housing.”
Ms Mercorella said it was time to review the rates.