You'll come across many new terms as a first home buyer when looking for a property and home loan. One of these terms will likely be stamp duty. You may wonder what stamp duty is, how it's calculated and whether first home buyers need to pay stamp duty?
This guide will take you through the basics of stamp duty and break down the concessions available in each state or territory. You can get more in-depth information on the stamp duty concessions available to first home buyers here.
Stamp duty (sometimes referred to as land transfer duty or similar) is a tax you pay on certain purchases. Besides purchasing a property or land, stamp duty might be payable when buying a motor vehicle or insurance policy. Although it's a tax paid all across Australia, it is managed individually by each state and territory government.
Each state and territory sets the rate of stamp duty. You can use a stamp duty calculator to give you an idea of how much you'll be required to pay.
In general, stamp duty is calculated by multiple factors, including:
To use Yard's stamp duty calculator, you just need to enter the purchase price, the property location, property purpose and whether it's your first home.
You're required to pay stamp duty within 30 days of settlement. Your solicitor or conveyancer will usually organise to pay stamp duty on your behalf to your state or territory revenue department.
You may also be able to include the cost of stamp duty in the funds you borrow for your home loan. You'll need to remember that if you add stamp duty to your loan amount and it's over 80% of the property's value, you may be required to pay lender's mortgage insurance.
There are many concessions, exemptions and grants available for first home buyers. This may have you wondering do first home buyers pay stamp duty? The answer to this question will depend on the state or territory you purchase your property in.
Below is the breakdown of how each state handles stamp duty for first home buyers, including links to the relevant state or territory revenues website to get more information.
Concessions on stamp duty in NSW for first home buyers fall under the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme (FHBAS). This scheme allows first home buyers in NSW to access a concessional rate of stamp duty or transfer duty or be exempt from paying it.
The FHBAS is available on purchases of existing property, new property or vacant land as long as the property is your primary place of residence.
The NSW government increased the thresholds applied to the FHBAS scheme for purchases between 1 August 2020 and 31 July 2021. Thresholds will revert to previous levels from 1 August 2021.
1 August 2020 - 31 July 2021 concessions on stamp duty for first home buyers in NSW:
1 July 2017 - 31 July 2020 and continuing from 1 August 2021 concessions on stamp duty for first home buyers in NSW:
First home buyers stamp duty in Victoria has multiple concessions that different types of purchasers can access. You may even be able to claim more than one concession, exemption or reduction in stamp duty depending on your circumstances.
The stamp duty concessions, exemptions and reductions available to first time buyers in Victoria include:
For you to receive these concessions, your property must be your primary place of residence.
When it comes to stamp duty for first time buyers in QLD, there are two layers to the concessions you can receive. When purchasing a property in QLD, you can apply for the home concession on property values under $550,000.
There are two additional concessions available specifically for first home buyers in QLD. These concessions are on top of the home concession, which is open to all buyers.
If you're a first home buyer in WA and are eligible for the First Home Owners Grant, you can also access a concessional rate of stamp duty. You can also access a concession on your stamp duty as a first home buyer when purchasing an established home in WA.
Some value thresholds apply.
If your property exceeds these value thresholds, you can check the WA Government website to see if you're eligible for the residential rate of duty.
The SA Government ceased offering any concessions on stamp duty for first home buyers on 30 June 2018. Before this first home buyers were able to get a concession if they purchased an off-the-plan or substantially refurbished apartment.
First home buyers in SA can still access the First Home Owners Grant. To work out how much stamp duty you have to pay, you can use Yard's stamp duty calculator. And to find out more about what the SA Government offers first home buyers, check the website.
In Tasmania, first home buyers can get a concession only when purchasing an established property. If you're purchasing a new property, you're eligible for the First Home Owners Grant but don't receive any concessions on stamp duty.
The concession on stamp duty for first home buyers in Tasmania is a 50% reduction in your stamp duty when purchasing an established home. The value thresholds for your purchase are:
From 1 June 2019, the ACT Government opened up the eligibility for a concession on stamp duty to all purchasers in the state, so it isn't specifically for first home buyers. You can also get the concession for all property types, whether it's a new or established property or a vacant block of land.
The property must be your primary residence for a year within a year from the date of completion. The concession is capped at $35,910 from 1 July 2021. The household's total gross income, whether they are named purchasers or not, can't exceed the below income thresholds.
For first time buyers in NT, there are no specific concessions on stamp duty; however, all home buyers may apply for the Territory Home Owner Discount (THOD). The THOD is available to all buyers who are building or buying a new home or a vacant block of land on or before 30 June 2021. The property must be your principal residence and valued at $650,000 or less. If you enter your sales contract after 30 June 2021, you'll not be eligible for the THOD.
To find out if you qualify for any stamp duty exemptions or concessions as a first home buyer, check the government website of the state or territory you plan to purchase in. If you plan to buy a property in a different state to the one you currently live in, make sure to check the details of stamp duty in the state you're purchasing in.
There are many concessions and exemptions available on stamp duty for first home buyers, which will help you get into the property market sooner. To get a clearer idea of how much stamp duty you will be required to pay as a first home buyer, use Yard's stamp duty calculator.