Stamp duty set to skyrocket
FRASER Coast real estate agents say there is no way of getting around it – the Bligh government’s latest state budget is going to hurt an already bleeding industry.
As of August 1 stamp duty on Queensland homes is set to skyrocket.
On average those buying homes as their principal place of residence will be slugged an extra $6000 in stamp duty.
But it’s not all bad news yet.
Buyers still have a small window of opportunity to get their hands on a bargain in a current slow market.
All contracts signed before July 31 will be subject to the current fees.
After that, times are set to get a whole lot tougher.
Alan Wetton, principal agent at Maryborough’s LJ Hooker office, said yesterday that the budget changes were devastating for the region.
He said stamp duty was simply a tax to benefit the State Government and that increasing already exorbitant fees was “ill conceived” and example of “poor judgement”.
He said the State Government already raised the fees agents were required to pay and by increasing stamp duty Treasurer Andrew Fraser had effectively hit the industry with a “double whammy”.
“It’s a tax that seems to be aimed at stopping people from buying houses,” Mr Wetton said.
Investors, who faced stamp duty hikes last year, will barely feel the change but those buying family homes in the $350,000 range – the average price of a sound family home according to Mr Wetton – will be hit hardest.
Mr Wetton said a home sold after August 1 at $350,000 would attract $10,750 in stamp duty compared to the current $3500.
The only group sheltered from Bligh’s budget blows will first home buyers who are eligible for $7000 for homes or land worth less than $750,000.
They are also exempt from stamp duty for properties valued up to $500,000.
Discounts will also apply to anyone buying brand new homes but Mr Wetton said in Maryborough, there were few of those.
Three real estate agencies have closed on the Fraser Coast in the past two months.
“It’s going to hurt us,” Mr Wetton said.