First home buyer: Do I need to pay stamp duty?

Couple looking at a house with a real estate agent
Find out if you need to pay stamp duty on your first home

Thanks to first home owner assistance programs, plenty of new punters are looking to leap into the property market with their first home purchase. Before you join the crowd, know your stuff so you don’t get stung by unexpected additional costs. This includes stamp duty.

Stamp duty is a state tax, which means the rules on whether or not first time buyers need to pay depend on where you live. We’re making it simple by providing you with the rundown on the rules by state or territory.

Buying a house in the ACT

If you’re buying in the ACT, we have good news and bad news.

Bad news is that the ACT government doesn’t make any stamp duty concessions specifically for first home owners. That being said — now it’s time for the good news — you can reduce stamp duty significantly by buying off the plan or purchasing vacant land. We’re talking just $20 on any new or substantially renovated home valued less than $468K or lot worth less than $280K!

Review the ACT Revenue Office’s home buyer concession scheme for all the details.

Buying a house in NSW

The NSW government is making it just a little bit easier for first time buyers to break into the market by waiving stamp duty all together on properties valued up to $650K. Concessional rates are also available for first time buyers looking at homes valued from $650K to $800K.

Those looking to land for their first time purchase aren’t left out in the cold. Stamp duty is also waived for vacant land valued up to $350K, with concession rates applying to land valued between $350K to $450K. 

Review the details and information for first home buyers on the NSW government’s website.

Buying a house in the NT

First home owners with their eyes on a first home in the Northern Territory will be pleasantly surprised to find out that the NT government is very generous indeed. Stamp duty fees are waived all together for first time buyers purchasing a home valued less than $500K.

If your pockets run a little deeper, reduced rates are available on homes valued between $500K and $650K.

Review the NT government’s stamp duty guide for all of the details.

Buying a house in QLD

Stamp duty is often called transfer duty in Queensland. Concession rates do apply for first home owners, but only for properties valued less than $550K or vacant land valued less than $400K.

To calculate transfer duty, the QLD government uses the home concession rate to determine the transfer duty amount. First time buyers can then apply the First Home Concession rate for a further discount. Depending on the purchase price of your home, you could end up not paying any stamp duty at all.

Review the details and home transfer duty concession rates on the QLD government website.

Buying a house in SA

All home buyers, including first timers, in South Australia are eligible for the Off-the-plan Concession, which reduces the amount of stamp duty you pay when you buy an apartment off the plan.

The rate you pay depends on the stage of construction when you buy your property, with different rates applying for properties valued below and above $500K.

Review the Off-the-plan concession rates on the RevenueSA website. 

Buying a house in Tasmania

First time buyers in Tasmania may not have access to stamp duty concession rates, but they do have access to a pretty great First Home Owner Grant scheme. This includes a one-off payment of up to $20K to buy or build your first home.

FHOG eligibility criteria applies, and you can find it all on the Tasmanian government’s website.

Buying a house in Victoria

We have great news for buyers looking for their first home in Victoria — stamp duty can be completely waived for those who purchased after 1 July 2017.

In order to be eligible for this very generous concession, your first home must be valued less than $600K. If your tastes run a bit richer, properties valued between $600K to $750K are also eligible for concession rates. This applies to buying and building new properties as well as purchasing an established home.

Find all of the information you need about first home buyer duty exemption on the Victoria State Revenue Office website.

Buying a house in WA

If you qualify for the First Home Owners Grant in WA, you may also qualify for the First Home Owner Rate of Duty. Even better, it could mean that you don’t have to pay any stamp duty at all!

For first homes valued at less than $430K, no duty is paid. If your home falls between $430K and $530K, a reduced concession rate is applied that could save you more than a few bucks. This scheme also applies to vacant land purchases, with lots valued less than $300K having no stamp duty and lots valued from $300k to $400K receiving concessions. Read up on WA’s first home owner rate of duty  on the government’s website

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