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NSW government announces housing reforms

By James Mitchell
01 June 2017 | 1 minute read
Piggy bank

The state government has announced a raft of measures to improve housing affordability, including scrapping stamp duty for first home buyers and taxing foreign investors.

The government on Thursday unveiled a comprehensive package for first home buyers that will abolish stamp duty on new and existing homes up to $650,000 and provide stamp duty relief for homes up to $800,000.

Insurance duty on LMI will also be abolished, and the government will provide a $10,000 grant for builders of new homes up to $750,000 and purchases of new homes up to $600,000.

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Meanwhile, the surcharge on stamp duty for foreign buyers will double to 8 per cent and the surcharge on land tax will increase from 0.75 per cent to 2 per cent. However, foreign developers will be exempt from the increased surcharges.

The government also announced measures to help first home buyers gain an advantage over investors, who currently account for around 48 per cent of buyers in the Sydney market.

“First home buyers often face strong competition for properties from investors. To help counter this, the NSW government is abolishing the 12-month deferral of duty for residential off-the-plan purchases by investors,” it said in a statement.

“Buyers who are purchasing a home they plan to live in off-the-plan (regardless of whether they are first home buyers or not) will still be entitled to a 12-month delay in the payment of stamp duty, deferring payment from three to 15 months after settlement. But this concession will be closed to investors.”

The measures will take effect from 1 July this year.

In addition, the government outlined plans to boost housing supply and infrastructure across the greater Sydney area.

“Overall, this is a good plan – it balances supply and demand initiatives and shows the government has listened to the industry and the people of NSW,” Property Council NSW deputy executive director Cheryl Thomas said.

“The crucial aspect that will define its success will be increasing housing supply. Initiatives that increase demand, such as grants and tax incentives, must be matched by initiatives that boost supply, and it appears the government has heeded this advice,” she said.

 

 

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