Hip pocket hit by stamp duty

STAMP duty relief has been revealed as the key factor to help the housing industry rebound from near historic lows in 2013, a national survey has found.

The survey by mortgage broker Loan Market which asked "what action can the government take to stimulate the housing market in 2013" found an overwhelming majority of 55% of respondents citing stamp duty relief as the key to a strong 2013 for the housing industry.

Sunshine Coast Loan Market mortgage broker Carol King said the survey of the 450 Australian mortgage brokers showed, that while stamp duty charges differed from state-to-state, the tax was a considerable obstacle for consumers looking to purchase an established home.

"Stamp duty serves as an important source of revenue for state-based governments looking to create balanced budgets, but in many cases this tax can erode a significant chunk of a home buyer's savings and sway their buying intentions," Ms King said.

"What stamp duty often does to consumers is reduce their deposit level so that they end up in Lenders Mortgage Insurance territory and have to pay an additional cost to establish the loan."

Ms King said most lenders don't charge LMI if you have a deposit of at least 20% of the property price, however, in many cases stamp duty charges were reducing deposit sizes so that the consumer must pay the insurance that protects the lender if the client defaults on their loan.

"If you act at the right time, you can save a significant amount of money that can allow you to pay your home off faster."

Ms King said a range of stamp duty concessions were available for consumers who were purchasing their first home, building or significantly upgrading an existing dwelling.

"In every state first home buyers have some type of concession that helps them avoid this cost, however, for those looking to purchase their second home or an investment property this is an unavoidable cost," she said.

"With the RBA interest rate reductions in 2012 having a minimal impact on the housing industry it may be necessary for state-level governments to look at making further concessions to stamp duty charges so that housing sector can rebound."

Ms King said that those buyers looking to save extra money on stamp duty or receive a government grant should keep a close eye on the legislative talks of their respective state governments.

"Changes to grants and concessions do not happen overnight so it's best to be well researched on what policies are being discussed," Ms King said.

Ms King said that a mortgage broker was well placed to offer the latest news on stamp duty and home owner grants as well as find the right home loan for a borrower's personal circumstances.


The Survey Results:

What action can the government take to stimulate the housing market in 2013?

a) Create more stamp duty relief - 55%

b) Lower property taxes - 10%

c) Reintroduce or amend state level grants - 32%

d) Release more land for home construction - 3%


For more on finance in property, pick up your copy of Domain free in Saturday's Sunshine Coast Daily.

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Topics:  finance housing market property rates

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