How do I know how much I’ll need to pay in stamp duty?
Stamp duty is calculated based on the rates, exemptions and concessions that are operating in the state you’re buying your first home. Generally, the more expensive your prospective property, the more you’re likely to pay in stamp duty because it’s charged at tiered rates but there are also exemptions and concessions - especially for first home buyers - which is why our stamp duty calculator is definitely worth using when budgeting for your first home.
What stamp duty discounts are available in each Australian state or territory?
To help you get your foot in the door, the majority of state governments - minus Tasmania and the Northern Territory - have made concessions or in some cases, complete stamp duty exemptions for first home buyers. Check out what kind of discount you can score on your stamp duty below.
New South Wales
The First Home Buyers Assistance scheme currently on offer in New South Wales gives first home buyers like yourself a total exemption on new and existing homes up to the value of $650,000 and concessions for homes - both new and existing - valued between $650,000 and $800,000. If you’re buying vacant land in New South Wales, you can score a total stamp duty exemption on land valued under $350,000 and concessions on land worth up to $450,000.
The Victorian Government will give you a total stamp duty exemption as a first home buyer if you’re buying a new or existing property worth up to $600,000. After that, you’re able to claim a stamp duty concession for properties worth up to $750,000.
First home buyers in the Sunshine State will be able to apply for a stamp duty concession so long as their new or existing home is worth less than $550,000. As for vacant land, as long as you’re spending less than $400,000, concessions apply. It’s worth noting that even if you’re spending more than these caps, the Queensland Government have a general stamp duty concession scheme for all home buyers which might apply to you.
First home buyers in Western Australia won’t pay a cent in stamp duty on homes - new or existing - valued under $430,000. After that, you’re paying a concessionary rate of $19.19 per $100 for properties valued up to $530,000. You’ll also be able to claim a total exemption on vacant land worth less than $300,000 and pay a concessional stamp duty rate of of $13.01 for every $100 over that, up to the value of $400,000.
First home buyers in SA can nab a partial stamp duty concession for off-the-plan apartments purchased as long as contracts were entered into by the 1st of July 2014 and before 30th of June 2018 and is capped at a $500,000 property value.
If you’re looking to call Australia’s capital territory home, you can receive exemptions on new homes and vacant land. For example, you won’t be required to pay any stamp duty on new homes worth less than $470,000 with concessions available thereafter, up to the value of $607,000. And if you’re in the market for a vacant land as your first ever property purchase, you won’t pay a cent in stamp duty on land up to the value of $281,200 and concessions up to $329,500.
This might all seem a little hard to keep up with, but the good news is that our stamp duty calculators take all of these discounts into account. Just make sure you’ve selected the right state and ticked the first home buyer box and we’ll factor in any concessions or exemptions that could apply to you.
Can I save money on stamp duty as a first home buyer?
To help you figure out just how these concessions apply to a first home buyer, consider the following first home buying scenario.
Sally and Steven have saved enough to get their foot in the door of their first home in Sydney’s south-west. Their new Wattle Grove home has three bedrooms, is super close to the local shops and has a sale price of $700,000 and while they’ve got the deposit under control, they’re not quite sure of how much that will add up to in stamp duty charges.
Using Mozo’s stamp duty calculator, a $700,000 existing building in NSW would cost a first home buyer who plans on using the property as their primary place of residence $10,768 in total stamp duty charges, including a $139 mortgage registration fee and a $139 transfer fee.
Just remember that, because we’ve used our super-smart stamp duty calculator, this sum already includes the NSW government’s stamp duty concessions for first home buyers, but doesn’t take into account any grants.
What other first home buyer grants exist in my state?
Outside of stamp duty exemptions or concessions for being a first home buyer, you’re able to score some pretty sweet grants that will make your first home buying experience that little bit more affordable. While we don’t take these grants into account when it comes to running our stamp duty calculations, you can find out what’s on offer in your state, below.
New South Wales
- $10,000 for building a new home (up to the value of $750,000)
- $10,000 for purchasing a new home (up to the value of $600,000)
- $10,000 for new homes in metropolitan areas (up to the value of $750,000)
- $20,000 for new homes in regional areas (up to the value of $750,000)
- $15,000 or $20,000 depending on the date of your property contract for building a new house, unit or townhouse (up to the value of $750,000)
- $10,000 for new homes (up to the value of $750,000 in Perth’s metropolitan areas and $1,000,000 in regional areas)
- $15,000 for new homes (up to the value of $575,000)
- $7,500 for new, substantially renovated, or off-the-plan properties (up to the value of $750,000)
- $26,000 off your first home, without any pricing restrictions
- $20,000 off your new home, off-the-plan home or owner/builder home, up until the 30th June 2018
- $10,000 thereafter
How is my stamp duty bill broken down?
What our first home buyer stamp duty calculator gives you is a full breakdown of the costs associated with your stamp duty bill - not just the stamp duty fee itself - so that you can have a clearer idea of what you’ll need to budget for.
Stamp duty rates aside, you’ll also have to stump up a mortgage registration fee, unless you’re buying your first home completely out of your own pocket, meaning you don’t need a home loan. This is a flat fee for registering your new mortgage with the state government.
The other notable charge is a transfer fee which you’re asked to pay to transfer the title of your new home. Depending on the state you live in, this may be a percentage of the value of the property or a flat fee.
Do I have to live in my new home to get a first home buyer stamp duty exemption or grant?
Yes, you’ll have to be a genuine first home buyer if you want to get a stamp duty exemption or grant, and not an investor. This means that some states will impose a minimum amount of time you have to live in your new home to be eligible for the grant, concession or exemption so check these conditions out if you’re thinking of renting the property in the future.
I’ve heard about the First Home Super Saver Scheme - can I use it?
Definitely, the First Home Super Saver Scheme is a Federal Government initiative so its available to all Aussie first home buyers as of July 1st, 2018. It works by sacrificing up to $15,000 a year out of your salary, directly into your super account (on top of the mandatory annual 9.5% compulsory super contribution amount), where it accrues interest quicker than it would in a regular savings account. Once your super savings stash reaches the $30,000 cap you can then withdraw it and put it towards your first home deposit.
If you want to learn a little more about the scheme and all of its benefits, you can find out the finer details using our Guide to the First Home Super Saver Scheme.
Do I have to pay stamp duty upfront?
Yes, unlike a host of other home buying expenses, you’re required to pay your stamp duty up front and in-full to the state government in which you’re buying. The good news is that many home loan lenders will cover the state government fee upfront and give you the option to roll it into your mortgage. Just keep in mind that this means your overall home loan amount will be more and therefore so will your LVR, which might mean you’re having to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
Want to get your head around the other costs that come with your first home as well as a load of helpful tips on how to manage your first property purchasing experience? Check out our first home buying guides section.