Nila Sweeney
Are you planning to buy a home in Queensland? Make sure you get in before August 1, when stamp duty rates are set increase to up to the three times the current rate.
 
Stamp duty is essentially a tax on the transfer of property, payable to the state government by the buyer of a property. Under the current regulations, Queensland homebuyers have access to a concessional rate of stamp duty that is substantially lower than the rate applicable to investors.
 
Queensland premier Anna Bligh has announced that as of August 1, as part of her budget, the concessional rate will be abolished and all property buyers will pay the same amount of stamp duty.
 
If you were to buy a home in Queensland today for $350,000, you would be required to pay stamp duty of $3,500.
 
From August 1 the amount of stamp duty payable on that $350,000 home will almost triple, lifting to a whopping $10,075 in transfer duty. The amount of stamp duty payable on a $430,000 home will increase from $6,575 now to $12,875.
 
State treasurer Andrew Fraser defended the lift in rates, saying that Queensland’s stamp duty was still lower than other states and pointing out that stamp duty concessions for first homebuyers will remain in place for homes priced up to $500,000.
 
But real estate agents fear the stamp duty hike will be the nail in the coffin for the ailing Queensland property market.
 
“On our best estimates, the number of real estate transactions in Brisbane were lower in 2010 than they had been for more than a decade,” blogged Brisbane real estate agency, Bees Nees Property.
 
“This year has so far been the slowest in many agents’ memories, well down on 2010, maybe by as much as a further 30%. So how does increasing the tax on each of these make any sense at all?”
 
Adds a spokesperson from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, “A better way to stimulate the economy would have been to provide financial incentives for all buyers of all types of properties.”
 
LNP treasury spokesman Tim Nicholls described the move to lift taxes and charges at a time when the Queensland property market is already struggling as “out of control”.
 
Speaking parliament in this week, Nicholls confirmed that the
LNP would, if elected, reintroduce stamp duty concessions.
 
Here is a listing of current stamp duty rates, and the amount applicable as of August 1:
 
 
Home concession (owner occupier) transfer duty rates – for contracts entered into by 31 July 2011
 
Purchase price/value              Duty rate
Up to $350,000                          $1.00 for each $100 or part of $100
 
$350,001 to $540,000              $3,500 + $3.50 for every $100 or
                                                      part of $100 over $350,000
 
$540,001 to $980,000              $10,150 + $4.50 for every $100 or
                                                      part of $100 over $540,000
 
More than $980,000                  $29,950 + $5.25 for every $100 or
                                                       part of $100 over $980,000
 
 
Investor property transfer duty rates – for contracts entered into by 31 July 2011
 
Purchase price/value             Duty rate
 
Up to $5,000                              Nil
            
$5,000 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 $980,000             $17,325 plus $4.50 for each $100,
                                                     or part of $100, over $540,000
 
More than $980,000                $37,125 plus $5.25 for each $100, or part of $100, over $980,000
 
 
Transfer duty rates for owner occupiers and investors – for contracts entered into from August 1
 
 
$5,000 to $105,000                 $1.50 for each $100, or part of
                                                    $100, over $5,000
 
$105,000 to $480,000             $1,500 plus $3.50 for each $100,
                                                     or part of $100, over $105,000
 
$480,000 to $980,000             $14,625 plus $4.50 for each $100,
                                                     or part of $100, over $480,000
 
More than $980,000                $37,125 plus $5.25 for each $100,
                                                     or part of $100, over $980,000

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