More Canberrans buying properties off the plan will no longer have to pay stamp duty on their purchase, with the ACT Government lifting the current $700,000 threshold by a further $100,000.
Properties valued up to $800,000 bought off-the-plan by owner-occupiers will now be eligible for the stamp duty concession.
The government says this will apply to contracts signed and exchanged on or after 27 November 2023 for off-the-plan apartments or townhouses.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said this would mean a saving of $22,704 on the purchase of an $800,000 property.
“Previously, the concession – for contracts signed and exchanged from 1 July 2023 – applied to properties valued up to $700,000,” Mr Barr said.
“This expands an important tax initiative that encourages housing supply in Canberra.”
Mr Barr said stamp duty could be a significant barrier to home ownership.
“Further increasing the concession threshold for off-the-plan unit purchases will support more prospective homebuyers, including downsizers, to purchase an apartment or townhouse in Canberra,” he said.
Mr Barr said the change further accelerates the Territory’s 20-year tax reform program, which began in 2012.
“The government has cut stamp duty every year,” he said.
“This is just one of a range of measures we are delivering to increase housing supply, affordability and choice.”
The increased concession threshold aligns with the new stamp duty exemption for dual occupancies on suburban residential blocks announced last month.
This will apply to the first transfer of unit-titled dwellings on suburban residential (RZ1) blocks for purchases valued up to $800,000 from 27 November 2023 to 30 June 2026.
Mr Barr said at the time that this created another incentive to subdivide.
“This incentive provides a discount of up to $25,150 on the final sale price, removing a barrier to home ownership and will bring an incentive for the delivery of more well-located and affordable homes,” he said.
To be eligible, contracts will need to be signed and exchanged on or after 27 November 2023, and at least one buyer must live in the home continuously for at least one year, beginning within 12 months of the date of completion (the settlement date) of the off-the-plan agreement.
The threshold increase is timely given the Reserve Bank’s decision on Tuesday to raise interest rates again.
The ACT’s tax reform program aims to modernise the Territory’s taxation system and will abolish a number of inefficient taxes, such as duty on property transfers and insurance premiums.
Economists have generally praised the program, but the government has been criticised for allegedly double dipping by upping rates and not reducing stamp duty fast enough and for still reaping larger amounts of revenue from the measure, although that is seen as being due to increased prices during Canberra’s long property boom.