WA to offer stamp duty concession for over 65’s

Jodie Humphries 24 February 2017 NEWS

WA stamp duty

An election promise for now but will other states follow?

Western Australian premier Colin Barnett has vowed if his Liberal government is re-elected next month he will implement a stamp duty concession for seniors wishing to downsize their property.

His new policy would provide a $15,000 discount on purchases of new and established properties valued up to $750,000, and a discount of $10,000 for vacant lots valued up to $400,000.

“Transfer duty creates a significant barrier for seniors on fixed incomes who are looking to change their lifestyle or downsize," Real Estate Institute of Western Australia president Hayden Groves said.

"The cost of transfer duty (in Western Australia) on a median house price of $520,000 is $18,715, which is almost equivalent to the entire annual standard aged pension of $20,745."

Another industry body has lauded the move, with Housing Industry Association executive director John Gelavis proclaiming the policy "a masterstroke" in the housing affordability debate.

While Barnett's government makes these promises, eyes are on his east coast counterpart in New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian. The capital, Sydney, remains in the spotlight for the housing affordability debate. Will Berejiklian make a similar move on stamp duty concessions to try and tackle the issue?

Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) president John Cunningham has urged Berejiklian to think of how stamp duty concessions for seniors would help with the supply of housing.

"Premier Berejiklian has stated the key to housing affordability is supply. However, supply is not just about new homes. The key to supply is unlocking existing properties held by retirees," Cunningham said.

"By providing stamp duty incentives to older Australians to downsize, we will see many more properties coming onto the market. If we get the supply of existing properties flowing then price pressure will ease."

Stamp duty costs differ depending where you live. Find out more about this tax and if exemptions apply.

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Image: bmphotographer / Shutterstock

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