Find out all you need to know about how stamp duty works down in South Australia using Mozo’s most commonly asked questions about the government fee for homebuyers and investors in SA, below.
What is stamp duty?
Stamp duty is a one-time government fee that applies when you buy land or property, regardless of whether you plan to use it as a home or an investment. Stamp duty charges change based on the state or territory, which is why we’ve built bespoke stamp duty calculators for each of Australia’s major states including:
How is stamp duty in SA calculated?
In South Australia, stamp duty is calculated from either the market value of the property or how much you paid for the property including GST, whichever is more. South Australia also uses a tiered rate format, so the more your newly acquired asset is worth, the more you can expect to pay in stamp duty.
What are the other costs associated with stamp duty?
Stamp duty rates make up the bulk of your overall transfer fee, but there are other costs associated with stamp duty like a transfer and mortgage registration fee.
The mortgage registration fee is a flat sum that needs to be paid if you’re taking out a home loan and, in doing so, are registering your mortgage with the South Australian government.
Next, the transfer fee operates on a sliding scale, depending on how much you’ve paid for your property and is the expense to lodge a transfer of property document.
Luckily, our SA stamp duty calculator takes all of these charges into account so you can get a more accurate idea of what you need to pay. Check out the following home buying scenario to see how these stamp duty costs come together in a final stamp duty bill.
A HOME BUYING SCENARIO
Jack and Jill have spent years saving and months researching the real estate market for a home that’s close to work in Adelaide’s CBD and think they’ve found the perfect little property in the northern suburbs. The 3-bedroom townhouse isn’t just first home friendly but it also fits neatly into their $300,000 budget. But how much will they pay in stamp duty?
Using Mozo’s SA stamp duty calculator, you can see your total stamp duty charges would total $13,762. This includes the flat $145 mortgage registration fee, $2,287 in transfer fees and $11,330 in stamp duty charges.
Who am I paying stamp duty to?
The SA state government or more specifically, the Department of Treasury and Finance of South Australia. Stamp duty is a tax, so it goes towards fueling the state government budget which usually means bolstering public sectors such as health, emergency services and education.
How do I pay for stamp duty?
Stamp duty is calculated when you settle your new South Australian property and you might only have a few months to pay the sum. In SA, you can expect to receive a letter in the mail shortly after you purchase your property which will breakdown your stamp duty costs, including the exact amount you need to pay, the due date and how to pay. Typically, RevenueSA - the government body responsible for these transactions - will process payments over-the-phone, online, via mail and BPay as well as in person.
Can I pay stamp duty in installments?
No, stamp duty needs to be paid in full to the state government, upfront. However, most home loan lenders will help accommodate stamp duty charges into your mortgage. What this might mean is that you have less money going towards your deposit and you’re increasing your overall loan amount. As a result, the higher LVR might mean you end up paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
Could I get an exemption from paying stamp duty?
Some state governments will ease the burden on first home buyers or encourage investment by offering an exemption or concession on stamp duty charges. In South Australia, there are currently two exemptions on the table:
The Off-the-Plan Concession is available for homebuyers purchasing an off-the-plan apartment or substantially refurbished apartment anywhere in South Australia between 20 June 2016 and 30 June 2018.
Exemptions also apply if your property is being transferred from an estate of a deceased person under a will.
Exemptions are put in place by state governments and are always changing, so make sure to do your research so you know exactly what you’re entitled to when it comes to stamp duty.
What if I’m buying this home from overseas?
South Australia certainly welcomes foreign home buyers but since the 1st of January 2018, you’ll incur a 4% surcharge on the normal stamp duty costs associated with your new property.
What are some of the other home buying expenses I should budget for?
Stamp duty is one thing, but its not the only or even necessarily the most pricey home buying expense you need to be aware of when you’re planning to purchase property. You’ve also got the following costs to account for:
The headline expense when it comes to buying a home is a cushy house deposit and the larger the deposit amount, the smaller the home loan amount which means you’ll pay less interest over the life of the loan. The deposit also has an impact on your LVR and if you fall below the 80% threshold, you’ll be forced to stump up additional charges on your mortgage in the form of Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
When settling the home buying transaction, you’ll want a solicitor or lawyer to look over all the contracts. This could cost you around $2000.
Pest and building inspection fees
The last thing you need is to find out your new dream home is being eaten alive by termites. You can avoid that with a pest inspection and make sure the rest of the structure is in good nick with a building inspection prior to purchase.
Your monthly mortgage repayments
If you are taking out a mortgage to land your new home, you’ll have to start stumping up weekly, fortnightly or monthly home loan repayments as soon as you get the keys. Luckily, we’ve created a handy mortgage repayments calculator so that you can get an idea of what your monthly repayments will look like and what kind of home loan interest rate you should be paying before you take the plunge into the property market.
Home and contents insurance
If you do have a mortgage, your home loan lender will stipulate that you get covered with a cosy home insurance policy. If you want your belongings covered too, you can check out a range of popular home and contents insurance policies on the market right now.
If your new property is intended as an investment and you’ll be renting it out to some lucky South Australian resident, you’ll want to have landlords insurance all sewn up as well, so that you’re covered for any damage that a tenant might cause.
And while these are some of the more noteworthy expenses that come with buying a home, there are a bunch more which is why we’ve created a comprehensive list of home buying guides for you to run your eyes over before you get the keys to your new home.