Stamp duty costs prompt homeowners to renovate

The number of property transactions across NSW have hit a four-year low as homeowners elect to undertake renovations rather than sell their properties in a bid to avoid stamp duty.

According to new data from the NSW Office of State Revenue, the number of Land Related Transactions in October was 17,312, “almost 12 per cent less than the same period last year and at levels seen in 2012”.

“There were 55,745 transactions for the first three months of the 2016/2017 financial year, down 7 per cent on 2015/2016,” said John Cunningham, president of the Real Estate Institute of NSW (RESINSW).

“Latest building approval data from the ABS highlights what we had been suspecting for some time: homeowners are electing to renovate and add value to their properties rather than throwing money away through stamp duty associated with purchasing a new home.”

Mr Cunningham said he believed it was “time for the NSW government to recognise this trend” and review stamp duty levels.

“It is totally unacceptable that the government has allowed stamp duty levels to remain unchanged for 30 years,” he said.

“A review of stamp duty rates would result in more transactions and would benefit not only residents of NSW but would act to increase revenues that are currently in decline.”

[Related: State surplus could provide relief to FHBs]

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Tamikah Bretzke

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