The State-by-State Guide to Australia’s off-the-plan Stamp Duty concessions

The State-by-State Guide to Australia’s off-the-plan Stamp Duty concessions
The State-by-State Guide to Australia’s off-the-plan Stamp Duty concessions

One of the many great cost benefits of buying off-the-plan is the ability to save on stamp duty fees. Many home buyers have saved thousands by purchasing a new-build home that meets their state’s concession criteria. In this guide, our aim is to help answer all your stamp duty questions and help you identify whether you could be eligible for a concession when you buy your new off-the-plan home.

Firstly, do you pay stamp duty if you buy off-the-plan?

Stamp duty is a mandatory cost associated with purchasing property in Australia. However, because an off-the-plan property is a ‘new build’, buyers may be able to reduce the cost of their stamp duty fees or dissolve the cost entirely. Special rules can also apply to first home buyers, pensioners, and owner-occupiers. To find out which rules apply to you, read on, or check your state's revenue website.

When is stamp duty payable on off the plan purchases?

Stamp duty is the taxable amount charged by the State Government for particular transactions including selling assets such as property. This is generally paid to the state revenue office before lodging the title transfer. The fee will often be paid by the conveyancing lawyer after settlement.

How to calculate off the plan stamp duty 

Calculating stamp duty varies from state to state and depends on whether you're intending on living in your home or renting it out, as well as the market value of the property. You can use a Stamp Duty Calculator to figure out home much you would be likely to pay for the apartment or townhouse you're interested in. Just bear in mind that you could also be eligible for one of the many concessions available. 

How much can you save with off-the-plan concession?

To assist you with your home buying journey, here is a state-by-state guide to understanding some of the concession laws in your city*.

*For an in-depth break down of rules and regulations, visit your state's revenue website.

VICTORIA

  • You must pay the market value for your property. If the contract price is lower than the market rate, then you will not be eligible for the concession.
  • You must be eligible for the Principal place of residence concession or the first home buyer duty exemption or concession.
  • Ineligible First Home Buyer Grant applications (who bought property for $750,000 or more) may still be eligible for the off-the-plan concession.
  • All purchasers must be over 18, with the exception of purchasers who are the guardian of a person with a legal disability.
  • Stamp Duty concessions are not available to company or trustee purchasers.
  • At least one buyer must live in the property for at least 12 months from 12 months after settlement/acquisition of the property.
  • For contracts signed before 1 July 2017, if you live at the property, you purchased you may be eligible for the Principal place of residence duty concession if the dutiable value of your home is $550,000 or less (after adding the off-the-plan concession to your contract price).

QUEENSLAND

  • Home concession is available to buyers when buying a second home
  • First home concession is available to first home buyers and is a considerable saving, and sometimes can result in the buyer paying no stamp duty
  • First home vacant land concession is a rebate given to those buying bare land to build their first home
  • First home buyers can claim both a First Home Owners’ Grant and First Home Buyer Concession if applicable

NEW SOUTH WALES

  • Stamp duty will either be abolished or reduced for first home buyers
  • First home buyers may be eligible to receive a grant of up to $10,000
  • To qualify for the first home buyer concession, you must be buying your first property (including land) valued at less than $800,000
  • Homes must be new and not previously lived in

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

  • Deferred duty: If you’re eligible for the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), or the Home Buyer Concession Scheme (HBCS) and the duty amount is $1,000 or more, then you may wish to defer your payment
  • Pensioner duty scheme: An eligible pensioner who own a residential property and is moving to a home more suitable for their needs (e.g. A townhome), they may be able to reduce the cost of stamp duty payable

NORTHERN TERRITORY

  • Principal Place of Residence Rebate: You may be entitled to receive a rebate of up to $7,000 for any stamp duty paid on a home that is your Principal place of residence, that you haven’t claimed a first homeowner discount or grant on
  • Seniors, Pensioners and Carers: A stamp duty concession of up to $10,000, so long as one purchaser is over 60 years old and a holder of an NT Pensioner and Carer Concession Card
  • First Home Owner Discount: A stamp duty concession is available to purchasers of new and existing homes.
  • Zero stamp duty is available to first home buyers of a home priced up to $500,000
  • A general stamp duty discount of $23,928.60 will be available to first home buyers

TASMANIA

  • A 50% concession may be available to first home buyers of an old home valued at under $400,000
  • A 50% concession could be available to pensioners who sell their former home in Tasmania and downsizes to a new home in Tasmania valued at $400,000 or lower
  • These offers are currently only available between the period of 7th Feb 2018 to 30th June 2020 (inclusive)
  • Duty exceptions can also be available when a home is transferred from a person to their partner

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  • According to the Revenue South Australia website, the off-the-plan concession no longer applies to contracts entered on or after 1 July 2018

SourcesACT Revenue Office | State Revenue Office Victoria | Queensland Government | Tasmanian Government | Revenue South Australia

Disclaimer: While Urban strives to provide accurate content, we do advise that readers undertake their own research and to only use our findings as a guide. 

Olivia Round

Olivia Round

Olivia Round is the Features Editor of urban.com.au. Olivia specialises in news reporting, in-depth editorial content and video + podcast interviews with industry experts.

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Stamp Duty Australia off-the-plan

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