NSW stamp duty revenues in decline

NSW stamp duty revenues in decline
NSW stamp duty revenues in decline

Stamp duty revenue from home sales have started off 2016 in decline reducing surplus funds available for the NSW State Government's infrastructure spending spree.

Property sales netted $515 million in duties in January this year.

It was lower than the $551 million paid in January 2015.

Transactions were down to 14,800 from 16,400 monthly property sales a year earlier, in the quietest January for three years.

January is typically among the lowest months for revenues, but NSW Office of State Revenue figures indicated the 6.5 percent dip was the first since May 2013 that revenue was down on the same month 12 months prior.

Auction levels are running at less than last year suggesting the January dip may extend further into 2016. 

The latest February auction activity could signal the end of the bonanza enabling the high spending on infrastructure with February auction listings down around 20 percent at 2400 offerings. 

The auction market also ended a five-weekend sequence of above 70 percent clearance rates last weekend, slipping to 68 percent according to CoreLogic RP Data. Fresh Sydney for sale listings - auction and private treaty - are down 6.5 percent over the past four weeks compared to this time last year, CoreLogic noted.

After a slump in auction clearance rates in December to the low 50 percent, agents also blamed the wet mid-summer and an early Easter for contributing to the slowdown in activity.

The early 2015 strength in the Sydney property boom was being especially driven by properties valued over $1.2 million, the last NSW State Budget revealed, but the housing boom longevity was not being assumed by the NSW Treasury.

NSW land tax revenues were forecast to rise at a faster rate than stamp duty revenues, according to the NSW state budget papers when in her first budget, Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian announced a surplus of $2.1 billion for 2014-15 largely to windfall stamp duty receipts.

Stamp duty receipts were predicted to rise from $7.8 billion in 2015-16 to $8.6 billion in 2018-19, while the June budget papers warned that stamp duty is an "inherently volatile" revenue source for the state government.

The stamp duty fee, which remain at percent levels mostly introduced three decades ago, currently sits at a $5.33 billion total after the first seven months of the financial year.



Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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