Budget consistently ignores home buyers: REINSW

The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) says the state government’s 2016-17 budget has failed to address a significant issue affecting home buyers for the 30th consecutive year.

REINSW president John Cunningham said the NSW government consistently ignores home buyers by continuing to overlook stamp duty “bracket creep”.

“It is unbelievable that the NSW government has again failed to review stamp duty bracket creep and continues to leave home buyers out in the cold,” Mr Cunningham said.

“NSW Transfer Duty revenue for 2015-16 is more than $1 billion over budget, at $8.886 billion, instead of the forecast $7.841 billion.

“Looking ahead, NSW Transfer Duty revenue for 2016-17 is budgeted at $8.777 billion, still more than the Transfer Duty Budget for last financial year 2014-15 of $7.29 billion and almost as high as the 2015-16 original budget of $7.841 billion, notwithstanding abolition of duty on transfers of non-land business assets from 1 July 2016.”

Mr Cunningham also expressed concern about the decision to increase foreign investor stamp duty surcharges to 4.0 per cent, effective immediately.

“The foreign investor surcharges in relation to NSW residential land are budgeted to bring in over $1 billion revenue over the next four years to 30 June 2020, which means that it is unlikely that the measures will operate to take pressure off the price of NSW residential land,” he said.

“It is time for the greed to stop. Year after year, budget after budget, the NSW government has the opportunity to support first home buyers and those looking to purchase property and it continues to deny them a fair go.

“Affordability is essential to the continued viability of our great state and the nonsense must stop,” Mr Cunningham said.

The NSW budget for 2016-17 was handed down on 21 June 2016.

In addition to the 4.0 per cent stamp duty surcharge on foreign buyers acquiring NSW residential land, new taxes relevant to the property market include a 0.75 per cent land tax surcharge on foreign buyers of NSW residential land, with no principal place of residence exempted, from 2017.

The emergency services levy is also to be substituted with an emergency services property levy from 1 July 2017.

The abolition of taxes previously legislated to be abolished on 1 July 2016 has been confirmed for that date, the state government said.

These include the NSW mortgage duty, the NSW transfer duty on transfers of unquoted marketable securities, and the NSW transfer duty on transfers of non-land business assets.

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