Stamp Duty 101

Oct 18, 2021

Here is our comprehensive guide on the current Stamp Duty exemptions and concessions available to homebuyers, and how to capitalise on them to potentially save yourself thousands.

Stamp Duty Exemptions and Concessions in Victoria: unpacking possible savings for subsequent home buyers

Aside from the deposit and purchase price of your new apartment, stamp duty is an additional cost to consider. While you might be aware of stamp duty exemptions and concessions on offer for first home buyers, there are ways that those looking to either  upgrade to a larger space or downsize from the family home can also save significantly on stamp duty – particularly when buying off-the-plan.

Here we unpacked the stamp duty concessions available to those buying a new home, but not a first home.

Firstly, what is Stamp Duty?

When you buy a home or apartment, you’re required to pay tax on the purchase. This tax is known as Stamp Duty. Just like income tax, Stamp Duty isn’t a set figure and is calculated on a sliding scale based on your property’s dutiable value. This is generally the purchase price or market value of your home – whichever is higher.

The numbers can understandably add up quickly, with stamp duty often becoming one of the biggest financial outlays when buying a home. As stamp duty is considered an upfront cost, you won’t be able to add this to your home loan, so the more exemptions or concessions you can access, the better.

The earlier you buy, the more you’ll save

Adding the growing number of benefits associated with buying off-the-plan is the Off-the-plan Duty Concession, which essentially rewards home buyers for purchasing earlier in the construction process – or before construction even starts. With the Off-the-plan Duty Concession, the earlier you buy, the more you can save.

This is because the concession calculates the dutiable value of your new home as the purchase price minus any remaining construction costs rather than your total cost. As the build progresses, the remaining build costs will decrease, meaning your potential savings will also decrease.

This concession is only available on properties where the dutiable value is calculated at a maximum of $550,000 for owner occupiers and non-first home buyers, or $750,000 for first home buyers. This means that properties with a higher sale price may be eligible for the concession early in the build but lose this benefit as construction progresses.

The Off-the-plan Duty Concession is only available to owner occupiers, so you’ll have to plan to live in the property for a continuous period of 12 months within the first 12 months of ownership.

The Owner Occupier Advantage: Principal Place of Residence (PPR) Concession

There are so many reasons to choose an apartment, and the Principal Place of Residence (PPR) Concession simply adds to the long list of benefits. If you’re purchasing a home for less than $550,000 and plan to live there for at least 12 months, you may be eligible for the PPR Concession.

The PPR Concession reduces the amount of stamp duty you have to pay – putting thousands of dollars back in your pocket. For properties with a dutiable value between $130,000 - $440,000 you’ll receive a stamp duty rate reduction of 1% – that means you’ll pay the $2,870 base rate, but only pay stamp duty at 5% of the difference between $130,000 and your purchase price, rather than the standard 6%.

The PPR Concession can also be combined with other incentives, including the current 50% discount in Victoria, to help you save even more. And because PPR is calculated based on the dutiable value of your property, not necessarily the full purchase price, you can also take advantage of the Off-the-plan Duty Concession.

Benefits for Pensioners: Pensioner Duty Exemption or Concession

If you’re seeking a low maintenance lifestyle by downsizing to an apartment, there are a number of concessions available for subsequent home buyers who hold pension or health care cards. This is a once-only stamp duty concession, applicable to homes valued between $330,001 and $750,000.

To be eligible for this exemption, you must hold one of the approved concession cards at settlement and intend to live in the apartment as your principal place of residence. Those who are entitled and approved for the Pensioner Duty Exemption or Concession will also benefit from the PPR concession and won’t need to apply for this separately.

The way this concession is calculated will depend on whether you’re purchasing an established home or an off-the-plan apartment. For pre-existing homes, the exemption is based on the dutiable value of your property, while for off-the-plan apartments, this is based on the contract price of your home and the dutiable value of your property.

If you’re looking to take advantage of the current stamp duty concessions, we have a range of apartments available – both off-the-plan and ready to move in.

Feeling overwhelmed by the options? Our sales consultants can work through this with you and help you find your perfect apartment along with the Stamp Duty concession/s that’s right for you. You should also discuss your options with your mortgage broker, financial adviser, or lender.

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. We make no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information, nor do we accept any liability or responsibility arising in any way from omissions or errors contained in the content. Caydon recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.