Stamp duty is part and parcel of buying property in Australia, but did you know it has just undergone a big change in the ACT?

Here’s what you need to know.

What is stamp duty?

Let’s start with what exactly it is. If you’re new to the investment market or buying your first home, stamp duty can often fly under the radar and come as a nasty surprise payment once you’ve settled.

That’s because it’s a form of tax applied to property purchases, mortgages and even motor vehicle registrations, and is calculated on the greater market value of your property at the time of purchase. Ergo, the more expensive the property, the higher the stamp duty.

For the last few years, first home buyers have been able to get a stamp duty concession and the $7,000 First Home Buyers Grant (FHOG), though this is limited to new builds or substantially renovated homes under $750,000.

Simple enough, right? But as of 1 July 2019, stamp duty has changed in a big way.

What’s changing?

As of 1 July, Canberrans will not pay stamp duty on their first home if:

  • The total yearly income of the home buyer and any partners is below $160,000
  • The home buyer has not owned any other property in the last two years
  • At least one owner lives in the home for a minimum of one year, starting within 12 months of settlement or completion of construction.

Under the new scheme, this support is available for newly built and existing homes – with no cap on the property value. This replaces the current FHOG, which ended on 30 June 2019.

Want more information?

Visit these websites for more information on how this may affect you.

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