The silver lining for developers in the NSW Government’s extension of stamp duty exemptions

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By Scott Laycock, Partner and Saarah Khalessi, Lawyer 

In an attempt to simulate jobs within the construction industry and support first home buyers, the NSW Government has amended its First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme by increasing the threshold on stamp duty exemptions.  Not only does this stimulate front-line jobs in the construction industry, but it also assists residential developers in marketing and selling off-the-plan residential units (to the extent those units fall within the $1 million price-tag).

Since the publication of our previous article discussing the HomeBuilder Scheme (which can be accessed here), the NSW Government has extended its COVID-19 recovery plan by introducing a temporary lift to the stamp duty exemption threshold for first home buyers.

The First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme will apply to individuals buying a newly-built home or vacant land.  Purchasers of other types of properties will only have access to the existing schemes.

From 1 August 2020:

  1. for newly built homes, the stamp duty exemption threshold has increased from $650,000 to $800,000;
  2. a stamp duty reduction will apply to newly built homes valued between $800,000 to $1,000,000;
  3. for vacant land, the stamp duty exemption threshold has increased from $350,000 to $400,000; and
  4. a stamp duty reduction will apply for vacant land valued between $400,000 to $500,000.

Providing a significant stimulus to the construction industry and incentive for first-home-buyers to purchase off-the-plan, these changes will remain in place until 1 August 2021.

Importantly, the changes apply in addition to the $10,000 First Home Owner Grant (which first home buyers are able to receive when purchasing their first home valued under $600,000, or house and land package worth up to $750,000) and the $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant.

In order to apply for the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme, the purchaser of a newly build home must:

  1. be a first home buyer;
  2. move into the property within 12 months and live there for at least 6 continuous months;
  3. be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia; and
  4. be at least 18 years old.

If you require further information about the applicability of these exemptions, please let us know.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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