Stamp duty abolished on off-the-plan home purchases up to $500,000

Ian Bushnell 2 July 2021 25
Off-the-plan apartments

Off-the-plan apartments will be cheaper. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Purchases of off-the-plan properties priced up to $500,000 will no longer have to pay stamp duty as part of the next phase of tax reform starting on Thursday (1 July).

The new stamp duty regime will mean savings for all property buyers, but the ACT Government is trumpeting the benefits for buyers at the lower end of the market and how it should also boost the supply of more affordable homes under $500,000.

It comes in addition to the existing home buyer concession scheme which has a range of eligibility criteria.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said anyone purchasing an off-the-plan apartment or townhouse valued at $500,000 will save $10,360.

“It’s $10,360 they no longer have to save or borrow when buying in the ACT,” he said.

“This is a further step in our tax reform program and one that encourages an increased supply of housing below the $500,000 threshold.”


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Mr Barr said the government’s priority through the next phase of stamp duty reductions was focused on the most affordable end of the housing market.

“If the government hadn’t started this reform back in 2012, and the government had continued to raise revenue in the same inefficient way, buyers would be paying $20,500 in stamp duty for the same property that will, from tomorrow (1 July 2021), permanently have zero stamp duty in the ACT,” he said.

This table shows the stamp duty savings over the tax reform period since 2012:

Stamp duty cuts

Stamp duty savings Image: ACT Government.

Mr Barr said the government would also cut stamp duty across a range of property purchases in the ACT. Duty on any owner-occupier purchase between $200,000 to $1,455,000 will be $1,040 lower in 2021-22 than in 2020-21.

“The ACT has been leading the country in removing inefficient taxes that significantly increase the cost of buying a home,” he said.

“Since 2012, we have been reducing stamp duty in the Territory, and this will continue throughout this term of government.”


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Mr Barr said that by abolishing inefficient taxes such as stamp duty and replacing this revenue with the fairest and most efficient tax base, household rates, the government was increasing economic activity in the ACT and supporting housing affordability.

“Whether you’re looking to purchase your first home, downsize or upsize, the reduction of stamp duty rates will make it easier to purchase and ensure all Canberrans will benefit from fairer, simpler and more efficient taxes and duties,” he said.

Find out more by visiting revenue.act.gov.au.


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25 Responses to Stamp duty abolished on off-the-plan home purchases up to $500,000
Penny Hemsworth Penny Hemsworth 10:04 am 01 Jul 21

Abolish one, raise another

Fran Corby-Moore Fran Corby-Moore 9:35 pm 30 Jun 21

Aaaaah so is that why rates sky-rocketed?

Sretenka Kosanovic Sretenka Kosanovic 7:23 pm 30 Jun 21

Is this why house rates go up?

Lizzy Pollard Lizzy Pollard 6:23 pm 30 Jun 21

Pity most of the off the plans get rescinded close to completion then re-advertised $200k more 🙄Andrew

Ol L Ol L 6:17 pm 30 Jun 21

Haha might be some off the plan bedsitters that qualify for this.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:59 pm 30 Jun 21

    Yeah, studio type shoeboxes with no parking and no natural ventilation in the (tiny) kitchen and (en-suite size) bathroom/toilet. They will be advertised to be walking distance (with a cut lunch and a compass) from the urban-renewal light rail.

    And you can guarantee that there will be no single level 2+ bedroom town houses available for $500K or less.

bj_ACT bj_ACT 6:02 pm 30 Jun 21

In other news, the ACT Government offers tax deductions to any individual earning under $10 a year and owners of Tasmanian Tigers will get free pet registration.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 3:49 pm 30 Jun 21

It appears to be a plan to get investors to return to the market and mop up the massive over-supply of planned units.

Vander Leal Vander Leal 2:37 pm 30 Jun 21

you just need to believe the under500 units on advertisement actually exists... all buildings have 1 unit that costs 289.000 and it was sold even before the building was announced, but still they can use "Apartments from 289k!"

Andrew Toal Andrew Toal 2:27 pm 30 Jun 21

Now they tax everyone every year.. think you get out of this...hahah never

    Geoffrey Bell Geoffrey Bell 7:57 pm 30 Jun 21

    Andrew Toal It's called the - For Ever Tax :)

Ania Pacek Ania Pacek 2:15 pm 30 Jun 21

$500k might get you a 1 or 2 bedroom townhouse but you will be hardpressed to find a 3 bedroom townhouse for $500k. Not going to help many families.

    Beth McElhinney Beth McElhinney 2:49 pm 30 Jun 21

    Ania Pacek we just sold our 3br townhouse for 630 so I doubt there would be many under 500

デ スティーブ デ スティーブ 2:09 pm 30 Jun 21

Great... Just what housing affordability needs. More subsidies to inflate prices further.

What a joke

Iva Na Iva Na 2:06 pm 30 Jun 21

Oh lovely, more incentive for naiive young buyers to buy absolute BIK RABISH.

Blake Anthony Cross Blake Anthony Cross 2:05 pm 30 Jun 21

Wasn't stamp duty originally introduced to pay of a commonwealth debt? From Scotland or Ireland? When was that settled? How did the government just flip that into a revenue? Nothing suss

    Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins 6:23 pm 30 Jun 21

    Blake Anthony Cross i think Scotland and Ireland are still in debt so I guess that is why we are still paying... 😂

Michael McDonald Michael McDonald 1:55 pm 30 Jun 21

This isn't the blessing it looks like, because the investors are just going to use it as a tax deduction, surely.

    Michael McDonald Michael McDonald 4:48 pm 30 Jun 21

    It's for First Home Buyers? That's not clearly stated in the article

Gerry Satrapa Gerry Satrapa 1:34 pm 30 Jun 21

Not many available under $500K, surely?

    Alex Satrapa Alex Satrapa 1:40 pm 30 Jun 21

    Gerry Satrapa not to mention it's off-the-plan, meaning what gets delivered may not even be close to what you were sold. You buy a 80sqm apartment with 2br, ensuite, laundry in the main bathroom, what gets delivered is 70sqm 2br with bathroom shared between the bedrooms, laundry built into the kitchen.

    Mark Chapman Mark Chapman 1:42 pm 30 Jun 21

    Alex Satrapa how did off the plan even be a thing. No other industry has that..

    James Fellows James Fellows 2:30 pm 30 Jun 21

    Mark Chapman Kickstarter...?

    Mark Chapman Mark Chapman 2:32 pm 30 Jun 21

    James Fellows hmmm, well played.. Would you drop up to half a mil on it though

    James Fellows James Fellows 2:34 pm 30 Jun 21

    Mark Chapman true, maybe only a few hundred. Let's hope the building regulations keep people's new homes from being a colossal mistake.

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