NSW is doubling stamp duty for foreign investors and cutting it for first homebuyers

Apartments for sale in Sydney. Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Images

New South Wales announced a series of measure aimed at improving housing affordability.

Stamp duty will be abolished for first homebuyers on existing and new properties worth up to $650,000, with stamp duty discounts offered on properties valued up to $800,000. This change from July will save up to $24,740 for first homebuyers.

The foreign investor stamp duty surcharge will be doubled to 8% from 4% and that for land tax increased to 2% from 0.75%.

Stamp duty concessions for investors buying off the plan have been axed.

“I want to ensure that owning a home is not out of reach for people in NSW,” says premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“These measures focus on supporting first homebuyers with new and better targeted grants and concessions, turbocharging housing supply to put downward pressure on prices and delivering more infrastructure to support the faster construction of new homes.”

Housing affordability has become a political issue as young buyers are locked out of a booming property market, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.

The NSW measures follow the federal budget in May which gave tax breaks for first home buyers saving for a deposit. From July first homebuyers will be able to save for a deposit by salary sacrificing into their superannuation account over and above their compulsory superannuation contribution

Former Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens advised the NSW Government in developing its housing affordability package.

The new affordability package includes $3 billion in infrastructure funding from government, councils and developers to accelerate the delivery of housing.

And there will be greater use of independent panels for councils in Sydney and in some regional areas to ensure development applications are done efficiently and to ensure the integrity of the planning process.

The next phase of the housing affordability plan is the establishment of a $1.1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund.

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