Blog How does stamp duty work when buying a house

How does stamp duty work when buying a house

08 June 2021
How does stamp duty work when buying a house

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Stamp duty might be an unpopular home buying cost, but for now, it’s still one you need to pay whenever you take the plunge into the property market.

One of the biggest home-buying expenses there is, stamp duty can sometimes be the difference between buying your dream home and missing out. That’s why it’s important to take into account how much you need to pay before you buy.

Stamp duty costs by state

Stamp duty can often be tens of thousands of dollars on top of the home purchase itself, and different states can have different stamp duty costs. The tables below show the average stamp duty costs for a $500,000 established home, assuming you’re a non-first home buyer.

These calculations were made using the loans.com.au stamp duty calculator, and also includes other government fees like registration costs. Contact your state’s revenue office for more information on how stamp duty works.

New South Wales stamp duty costs and discounts

Purchase type

 Stamp duty cost 

 Total government fees (est.) 

 Owner-occupiers 

$17,835

$18,128

Investors

$17,835

$18,128

  • NSW waives stamp duty for first homes valued under $800,000 and $400,000 for new land purchases and reduces stamp duty costs for homes and land valued below $1 million and $500,000

  • NSW also reduces stamp duty to $50 for deceased estates and defers off-the-plan apartment stamp duty payments for 12 months

Victoria stamp duty costs and discounts

Purchase type

 Stamp duty cost 

 Total government fees (est.) 

 Owner-occupiers 

$16,478

$17,866

Investors

$18,803

$20,191

  • Victoria waives stamp duty for properties valued below $600,000 and concessions for purchases below $750,000 for first home buyers (FHBs)

  • Until 1 July 2021, Victoria also offers 50% and 25% off new and existing residential properties and vacant land respectively, for homes below $1million

  • Pensioners in Victoria can get one-off stamp duty concessions on homes worth up to $750,000 to live in

Queensland stamp duty costs and discounts

Purchase type

 Stamp duty cost 

 Total government fees (est.) 

 Owner-occupiers 

$8,750

$10,286

Investors

$15,925

$17,461

  • Queensland charges first home buyers $0 for stamp duty on properties below $550,000 ($400,000 for vacant land

  • Queenslanders can get a concession on the first $350,000 (non-first home buyers allowed) if they live in the home for the first 12 months after buying

Western Australia stamp duty costs and discounts

Purchase type

 Stamp duty cost 

 Total government fees (est.) 

 Owner-occupiers 

$17,765

$18,211

Investors

$17,765

$18,211

  • FHBs in Western Australia are charged no stamp duty for homes and vacant land valued below $430,000 and $300,000 respectively

  • Concessions are available for houses up to $530,000 and vacant and up to $400,000

  • Off-the-plan purchases in Western Australia can get a 75% rebate on stamp duty (capped at $50,000) for contracts signed until October 2021

  • Western Australian married couples or de facto partners for two years can transfer properties and not pay any stamp duty

South Australia stamp duty costs and discounts

Purchase type

 Stamp duty cost 

 Total government fees (est.) 

 Owner-occupiers 

$21,330

$26,201

Investors

$21,330

$26,201

  • South Australia does not offer any stamp duty concessions

Australian Capital Territory stamp duty costs and discounts

Purchase type

 Stamp duty cost 

 Total government fees (est.) 

 Owner-occupiers 

$11,400

$11,962

Investors

$11,400

$11,962

  • The ACT ‘Home Buyer Concession Scheme’ provides stamp duty discounts for newly constructed homes and vacant land

  • ACT residents don’t pay stamp duty if they haven’t owned a property in the last two years

  • Bigger discounts are available depending on the number of dependent children (see the ACT Revenue Office for details)

Tasmania stamp duty costs and discounts

Purchase type

 Stamp duty cost 

 Total government fees (est.) 

 Owner-occupiers 

$18,248

$18,598

Investors

$18,248

$18,598

  • Tasmania offers 50% stamp duty discounts on established home purchases below $400,000

  • Pensioners who downsize to a new home below $400,000 in value can also get a 50% discount

  • Property transfers between married couples/significant relationships are exempt in Tasmania

Northern Territory stamp duty costs and discounts

Purchase type

 Stamp duty cost 

 Total government fees (est.) 

 Owner-occupiers 

$23,929

$24,227

Investors

$23,929

$24,227

  • Pensioners, senior citizens, and carers in the NT can get up to $10,000 off stamp duty ($750,000 for homes, $385,000 for vacant land)

  • The Northern Territory offers a Principal Place of Residence Rebate (PPRR) rebate of up to $7,000 for new builds, land, major renovations etc.

When does stamp duty need to be paid?

Stamp duty is paid upfront as a one-off cost in the vast majority of cases, with lenders occasionally letting you pay it off in instalments as a part of the mortgage on a case-by-case basis. But most of the time, you’ll need to have budgeted for a big hit to your bank account thanks to stamp duty.

How can you work out what your stamp duty might be?

Stamp duty can be determined by a number of different things, most commonly:

  • The cost of the land and the house

  • The location of the property (state)

  • Whether you’re an investor or an owner-occupier

  • Whether you’re also a first home buyer

  • Whether the home is a house, apartment, townhouse etc.

  • Whether the house is newly built or not

  • Whether you’re a pensioner, have children etc.

All of this can mean no two people pay the same for stamp duty, and since it can be very expensive, you need to know what you’ll be out of pocket for. loans.com.au’s stamp duty calculator can give you an accurate estimate of how much stamp duty might cost you for your dream home, so start using it today and use one of our competitive, low-rate home loans to save even more money on your next home purchase.

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