Western Australia Cuts Stamp Duty To Make Buying New Property More Affordable

There has never been a better time to buy off-the-plan in Western Australia (WA). The WA Government yesterday announced that, effective immediately, stamp duty rebates of up to $50,000 will be available for all buyers purchasing an off-the-plan apartment.

Let’s start from the beginning though: the WA residential property industry has been struggling recently. The slow construction industry and lack of jobs have put a lot of strain on the economy, and although there are several new infrastructure and mining projects starting (or due to start soon), the state government has decided they would give the economy another boost in the form of stamp duty rebates for off-the-plan property.

Why will Western Australia be a good market to buy into?

There are quite a few reasons WA is a good market to get into. Currently, the market is quite soft, meaning prices are low. Combined with a steadily growing population, and declining vacancy rates, the economic conditions are ripe for property prices to start increasing.

The expected economic boom has purposely been spread across several industries in order to prevent the slump that occurred after the previous mining boom came to a close. Infrastructure and mining projects include roughly $165 billion in planned future resource projects, and tens of billions more in infrastructure updates, property and commercial projects. New shopping centres or upgrades in Karrinyup and Innaloo are planned, whilst the Perth airport will be getting a $500 million new runway to help manage the flow of tourists and FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) workers. There are planned office and hotel developments throughout Perth itself, including several in Belmont Park and Elizabeth Quay. The Metronet, a new planned rail network, is also another draw, as it will both create new jobs and bring money to the local economy, and also significantly improve public transport in the city..

How will the stamp duty rebates work?

The new stamp duty rebates are effective immediately, and will run for the next two years (23 October 2019 — 23 October 2021). All you have to do to be elligable is buy an off-the-plan property, as the rebate is available to:

  • Buyers who signed a pre-construction contracts to purchase a new residential unit or apartment in a multi-tiered development,
  • Buyers who purchase more than one property (multiple properties = multiple rebates),
  • Any apartment: there is no cap on the purchase price/value of the apartment or unit,
  • Any type of buyer: the discount applies to Australian residents, Transfer Duty, and Foreign Buyers Duty
    • First home buyers: the rebate will lower the stamp duty even further (ie. If a first home buyer purchased an apartment valued at $450,000, they would have previously paid roughly $3,800 in stamp duty. Now, this will be only $960).

How much can I expect to save?

We know every bit of money counts when you’re buying, so here’s a couple of examples of how much you can expect to save with this new rebate:

Australian buyers:

If you buy an off-the-plan apartment worth $500,000, you would have paid $17,765 in stamp duty. With the introduction of the rebate, you will now pay only $4,441, saving you 75% or a whopping $13,324.

And the savings only get bigger from there.! If you buy a property worth $800,000, you save $24,237! You now only have to pay $8,079 instead of $32,316, putting so much extra money in your pocket that you might need to start thinking about buying an additional property.

If it’s not obvious already, the more you spend, the more you save. If you spend $1,500,000+, you can expect to have the full $50,000 rebate.

Foreign buyers:

Foreign buyers also make significant savings. Previous foreign buyers would have paid $43,835 in duty on a $500,000 off-the-plan property which has now shrunk to $10,959, saving $32,876.

As with Australian buyers, the more you spend, the more you save. If you pay $800,000 for a new property, then you would save $48,626 in duty payments, and if you spend anything more than $900,000 you’ll get the full $50,000 rebate to add to your savings.

Written: 24 October 2019

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