In a move that could make home buying much more affordable for first-home buyers as well as older folks looking to downsize, real estate industry leaders in South Australia are pushing for legislation that would make it so Australians who buy a home at or below the market median price in Adelaide would not have to pay stamp duty.
“REISA members are constantly hearing that stamp duty is preventing many older people from making a move into smaller accommodation,” said Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) President Greg Moulton in a December 13 statement.
“Real estate professionals are regularly conducting appraisals for older Australians, but when they find out the costs associated with buying another property, many simply can’t afford the move. This causes a ripple effect in the market – it hinders the release of stock for the younger buyers, and this key fact is often overlooked in the debate."
SA boasts the highest stamp duty of any state, with first-home buyers paying $15,830 on the Adelaide median house price of $390,000, according to a December 27 report from The Advertiser.
Greg Troughton, chief executive officer for REISA, told The Advertiser there is "growing pressure" on the SA government to review stamp duty rates and do more to encourage property investment in the state.
There's no doubt that doing away with stamp duty on certain properties would spur growth among some buyers, particularly first-home buyers who may have trouble saving up for the high stamp duty rates in their area.
Additionally, with older SA residents able to afford to move to a smaller home once their children leave the nest, it would free up inventory and add stock to the market.
This also comes at a time when the state's first homeowner grant is set to expire in just over half a year, making the need for affordability all the more urgent.