Did you know as a first home buyer you may be eligible to save up to $8,750 with the QLD Government Stamp Duty Rebate?
I know, there’s a lot of information you need to remember when buying your first home.
But in this article, I want to talk specifically about Stamp Duty.
Let’s get the facts straight and understand exactly what it is, and how you can avoid paying it.
What is Stamp Duty in Queensland?
Stamp duty essentially is the tax imposed by the government on insurance, sometimes on car purchases and always home purchases. The amount charged is the higher of the market value or the property value (including general sales tax). This means the higher the property value is, the higher the stamp duty in Queensland will be.
Stamp duty can be a substantial additional cost towards buying a property, so the Queensland government has decided to help first home buyers out by giving them a rebate on all or part of the cost of the stamp duty.
What you need to know:
- ✅ Stamp duty is paid by the buyer of a property
- ✅ There are discounts and waivers of stamp duty for certain home buyers
- ⛔️ It is paid on new homes, established homes or vacant land
- ⛔️ The price you pay varies depending on the value of the property
Who is Required to Pay it?
This is a really important and common question asked by many buyers and investors.
Every buyer or investor purchasing property is required to pay stamp duty in Queensland. However, an exception to that is First home buyers in Queensland who may be eligible to the First Home Buyers Stamp Duty Rebate. Yet if you’re not in Queensland, understand that the rebate varies between states, so always check your state government’s rules.
If you don’t qualify as a first home buyer or are outside of the terms of this rebate then you’ll need to include this in your budget to avoid any unpleasant surprise when you make a purchase.
Who needs to pay stamp duty:
- ⛔ Those who have already purchased their first property (buying their second or third property).
- ⛔ The buyer pays it – not the seller.
- ⛔ It’s usually paid between 30 to 60 days of signing the contract (depending on the state you are in and when settlement is to occur), but in most cases is paid on the day of settlement.
- ⛔ If you are a first home buyer but your property value is over $500,000 or over $250,000 for the land you will be required to pay stamp duty.
HG Tip! If the property you are buying is just over $500,000 then a great negotiation strategy can be using Stamp Duty as your leverage to purchase it for under $500,000. This will help you keep a firm stance of your buying price. Remember, you make money on the buy, not the sell. So negotiate as much as you can!
Disclaimer: Please speak to our team of experts at Hunter Galloway or a finance expert to calculate the exact amount of stamp duty for your personal situation. The above calculator is an example and each situation varies and needs to be looked at on a case by case basis.
How can I get stamp duty rebates?
If you’re eligible for a stamp duty rebate it can really help you kickstart your new homeowner journey. It’s kind of like the cherry on top, it makes it that little bit easier because it’s one less expense you’ll need to think about.
So here’s a total breakdown of who is eligible for stamp duty rebate:
1. You’re an Australian Resident / Over 18
However, if you’re not an Australian resident, there’s still a way!
Read on for more…
- ✅ You are over 18 at the date of purchase, so if you’re an upcoming 17-year-old property mogul, hold tight until that date.
- ✅ You’re a permanent resident in Australia or an Australian citizen. However not to worry if you aren’t, you are still eligible for the concession, yet you’ll need to pay an additional levy called the Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty (AFAD) which is levied at 3% of the purchase price.
2. This is your first purchase
So now is the time to weigh up your priorities between making your first purchase on that villa in the Tuscan Countryside or the apartment in Burpengary you were looking at. Because to be eligible for the stamp duty rebate, it needs to be on your first purchase, in the world!
- ✅ To be eligible for the rebate this will need to be your first purchase, ever, in the world.
- ✅ You have never part-owned a property in the past.
- ✅ You’ve never claimed the First Home Owner Grant.
- ✅ For those buying as a couple, only the first home buyer can claim their portion of the rebate. If the property is owned 50/50 you will only be eligible to 50% of the rebate.
3. You’ll live in the property for at least 12 months
It’s time to get comfortable! In order to be eligible for the stamp duty rebate, you’ll need to spend at least 12 months in the property. Because if you don’t you’ll need to be payback either part or all of your rebate (ahhh that’s a no from me).
- ✅ You’ll need to live in the property for at least 12 months consecutively.
- ✅ And those 12 months needs to commence within 12 months of the purchase date (so if you’re building still, you better get moving).
When is Stamp Duty Required to be Paid?
It is very important to be fully aware of when you should pay the stamp duty in Queensland to avoid any hiccups. So here it is…
Buyers and investors are required to make the payment within 30 days of the property settlement.
- ✅ The stamp duty rebate will be calculated prior to settlement by your solicitor or conveyancer and they will figure out your rates etc.
- ✅ From here, your rebate will be taken into account.
- ✅ Your solicitor is required to notify you with the exact amount you need to pay.
- ✅ They will let you know prior to settlement what you owe so that you can get the funds ready two business days prior to settlement.
Read More: Home Loan Process [Step-by-step guide]
Why does the Queensland Government Charge Stamp Duty?
That’s a very good question.
If you are paying a substantial amount out of your pocket, you have every right to ask this question.
Stamp duty is collected by the territory and state government and they use this amount for economic development and invest it back into the economy.
In other words, the amount is included in the state budget and it is used for the development of economic activities, such as emergency services, justice, police, roads, transport, and health.
Stamp duty can also be added to some insurance payments and gifts, but generally the more expensive, the more stamp duty.
How Much Does it Cost?
It varies from one state to another. Territory and state governments determine the amount required to be paid. It isn’t always easy to calculate the amount you owe in stamp duty, because every state charges a different rate. So always be sure that you’re looking up your state specifically, so for the sake of this article, we’ve focused on Queensland.
This can be quite confusing for first time home buyers. But the good news is, you can calculate the amount using an online calculator.
The key facts:
- ✅ The majority of the territory and state governments offer online calculators to help you figure out the amount you owe.
- ✅ You can speak to our team personally about how the rate is calculated.
- ⛔ If you are buying an established home valued under $500,000 or if you’re buying a block of vacant land under $250,000 you’ll need to pay stamp duty.
- ⛔ You’ll need to pay up to $8,750 for an established home or up to $7,175 for a vacant block of land in stamp duty fees.
Read More: 11 Hidden Costs of Buying a Home in Brisbane
Exemptions from Stamp Duty
Aside from the first home buyer case, in some circumstances, stamp duty exemptions are available in extreme situations, i.e., in case of the death of joint tenant or owner of the property. There are also some other occasions where you don’t have to pay stamp duty.
For example, you don’t have to make the payment if there is a change of tenure or the ownership is transferred to a spouse.
Then, as we spoke about earlier, you can also get concession if you’re a first-time buyer wanting to live in the property.
Exemptions occur in some rare occasions like:
- ⛔ Transferring ownership to a spouse
- ⛔ Death of joint tenant or owner of a property
- ⛔ Your state offers it – you can figure out how much stamp duty your state charges using our calculator above, along with some examples below:
If you purchase a new house in New South Wales as a first home buyer, a full exemption will be given to you for the property worth $550,000, and concessions will be offered if the amount varies between $550,000 and $650,000.
Similarly, in Victoria, first home buyers are not required to pay stamp duty if they buy an established or new house for $600,000 with the intention to live in it for at least a year.
Help I’m not quite sure what applies to my situation?
If you are looking to build a home in Queensland, or buy a new home using the first home owners grant our team at Hunter Galloway can help.
I’m Jayden Vecchio, and our team here at Hunter Galloway helps first home buyers with navigating the home buying process.
What we do is make it simple to get through the home loan process, and with our team of experts, we will help walk you through the process to complete your first home buyers grant application. If you are building your first home we can help walk you through the construction loan process.
Our service does not cost you anything as we are paid by the lender when your home loan settles.
To chat about your deposit, lending and first home ownership options book in a time to sit down with us, or feel free to call on 1300 088 065.
More Resources for first home buyers
- First Home Buyers Guide from start to finish
- How to Buy a House 🏘 (Step-By-Step Case Study)
- Using your Superannuation to build your deposit: The Complete Guide to the First Home Super Saver Scheme
- How to save for a house deposit (fast)
- Build a House in Brisbane 🏗 The Definitive Guide
The information on this page is general in nature and should not be considered as advice. Before you act on this information you must seek independent legal and financial advice.