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?
We know, there’s a lot of information you need to remember when buying your first home.
But in this article, we 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.
Here’s what we cover:
- What is Stamp Duty in Queensland?
- Who is Required to Pay it?
- Is Stamp Duty part of my deposit?
- Rates of Stamp Duty in Queensland
- How can I get stamp duty rebates?
- When is Stamp Duty Required to be Paid?
- Why does the Queensland Government Charge Stamp Duty?
- How Much Does it Cost?
- Exemptions from Stamp Duty
- Help I’m not quite sure what applies to my situation.
- Bonus: First Home Buyer grants you may be eligible for
- Bonus: NSW Stamp Duty Changes
Let’s get started.
What is Stamp Duty in Queensland?
Stamp duty essentially is the tax imposed by the QLD 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.
Is Stamp Duty part of my deposit?
Stamp duty is paid by the buyer when you are buying a property and is paid on top of the 8-10% deposit you put towards your home purchase.
Let’s look at a quick example, of a first home buyer purchasing a home in Queensland for $550,000.
Purchase Price: $550,000 with a 10% deposit
✅ Bank Deposit 10% = $55,000
✅ Bank Loan: $495,000
✅ Costs & Fees: $14,359
- Purchase Stamp Duty: $10,600
- Transfer Fees: $1,564
- Registration Fees: $195
- Legal/Conveyancer Costs: $1,500
- Building & Pest: $500
In this scenario, we are borrowing a 90% loan, with a 10% deposit or $495,000.
But the total deposit funds required are 10% = $55,000 + costs & fees $14,359 = $69,359 total deposit required! ⛔️
So in actual fact, you’re paying 12.6% deposit when you factor in stamp duty, fees and other costs!
Rates of Stamp Duty in Queensland
There are some concessions and rebates on stamp duty if you are buying a home to live in Queensland, but the standard transfer duty rates are:
|Property value||Stamp Duty rate|
|Not more than $5,000||Nil|
|More than $5,000 up to $75,000||$1.50 for each $100, or part of $100, over $5,000|
|$75,000 to $540,000||$1,050 plus $3.50 for each $100, or part of $100, over $75,000|
|$540,000 to $1,000,000||$17,325 plus $4.50 for each $100, or part of $100, over $540,000|
|More than $1,000,000||$38,025 plus $5.75 for each $100, or part of $100, over $1,000,000|
Source: Queensland Government Stamp Duty
You will also pay additional fees like Mortgage Registration fee of $175, and Land Transfer fees of $175.00 + additional fee for lodging a transfer if the consideration is more than $180,000 – $33.00 for each $10,000 or part of $10,000 more than $180,000
Queensland Home Stamp Duty Concession
The good news is there are some stamp duty concessions in QLD if you are buying a home to live in. In other words, you pay less stamp duty if you are buying a home to live in Queensland – compared to buying an investment property.
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.
Bonus: Other government fees when buying a home in Brisbane.
Stamp Duty is not the only government fee you will need to pay when buying a home in Queensland. There are other government costs, including:
- Registration on mortgage: Typically $187 in Queensland
- Registration of discharge of mortgage: $187 in Queensland
- Council and water rates. This is an expense many home buyers underestimate. Depending on the neighbourhood, your council and water rates can be between $1,000 to £2,000.
Bonus: NSW Stamp Duty changes
First home buyers in NSW stand to benefit from the Stamp Duty changes introduced by the government. Under this new initiative, homebuyers will have the option to pay an annual property tax instead of stamp duty.
This means that homebuyers in Sydney could save up to $30,000!
The goal is to make it easier for younger and low-income groups to get into the property market since the upfront costs of buying a home will be significantly reduced. The NSW government also predicts that removing Stamp Duty can cut up to 2 years off the time many first home buyers need to save for a home.
The good news is that this option will be available for purchases up to $1.5 million! This is way better than the current Stamp Duty concessions, which are being offered only up to $800,000.
When will these changes come into effect?
According to the NSW government website:
“Eligible first home buyers who sign a contract of purchase on or after 16 January 2023 will be eligible to opt into the property tax and will not be required to pay stamp duty in order to complete their transaction.”
So the changes will take effect on 16 January 2023—meaning if you sign a contract before 16 January 2023, you will still have to pay Stamp Duty.
“Eligible first home buyers who sign a contract of purchase between the passage of the legislation and 15 January 2023 will be eligible to opt into the property tax. However, these purchasers will be required to pay any applicable stamp duty within the usual required periods and from 16 January 2023, will be able to apply for and receive a refund of that duty.”
You can find more information about when the scheme will get into effect here.
Who is eligible?
Good news for the permanent residents! This scheme is available to permanent residents. If you are buying as a couple, at least one of you must either be a citizen or a permanent resident.
Unfortunately, if you or your partner have received the First Home Buyer Grant or other concessions in the past, you won’t be eligible to defer your Stamp Duty payments. So you need to do some calculations to see if the benefit of the First Home Buyer Grant outweighs the Stamp Duty savings.
The other eligibility criteria include:
- you must be an individual (not a company or trust)
- you must be over 18 years old
- you or your spouse must not have previously:
- owned or co-owned residential property in Australia
- received a First Home Buyer Grant or duty concessions.
- The property you are buying must be worth less than or equal to $1.5 million
- You must move into the property within 12 months of purchase and live in it continuously for at least 6 months
- You must sign the contract of purchase on or after the scheme commencement date (16 January 2023).
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)
- Queensland Transfer Duty Estimator
- 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.