Stamp duty changes could boost housing markets

Thursday 21 June 2012

Article by Mozo

Official figures released earlier in June showed that mortgage uptake was up by 0.2 per cent in April when compared to March, which was the second consecutive monthly increase.

Stamp duty changes could boost housing markets

Although the improvement was a welcome one, it is still a long way off what the government wants to see. The truth is that times are hard for many Aussies and the thought of taking on a home loan is not very appealing at the moment. Even though house prices have fallen recently, people simply haven't got the wherewithal to stump up enough cash to get themselves on to the property ladder.

The cost of living down under has risen sharply in the past few years and it shows no sign of slowing down. Therefore, potential house buyers are finding it nigh on impossible to put together a decent deposit in order to make their monthly home loan repayments more manageable.

So how can the government encourage Aussies to up sticks and move?

Unless the authorities are planning to pump thousands of dollars into our bank accounts, then it is a difficult one. There needs to be some form of incentive to get people signed up to mortgages and stamp duty concessions may be a good place to start.

Executive director of the Urban Development Institute of Australia SA Terry Walsh told the Advertiser that the state needs to overhaul its property tax framework if it wants to fill empty properties. The South Australian government recently abolished stamp duty on certain city apartments, but Mr Walsh believes the scheme should be expanded further.

It may sound greedy in light of the recent 75-point cut, but further reductions to national interest rates would also make Aussies more optimistic about taking out a mortgage. The Reserve Bank of Australia has lowered the cash rate to 3.5 per cent, but many banks and lenders have failed to pass this on to their customers. This is why it is so important to compare home loans before you settle for a package, as there will inevitably be better deals out there.

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