How much stamp duty will I pay?

Stamp duty (sometimes referred to as transfer duty) is a tax you pay when buying a property and certain other valuable items in Australia. It's charged by state and territory governments, which means how much you might be up for will depend on where you’re buying, as well as how much you’re spending and whether you’re eligible for a discounted rate.

How to calculate stamp duty

Calculating stamp duty can be tricky and how you do so will vary across different states and territories. Typically, each jurisdiction will offer a sliding scale of rates applicable to properties of various valuations. Take that of NSW, for example:

 Property value Stamp duty rate <\$16,000 \$1.25 for every \$100 \$16,000 to \$35,000 \$200, plus \$1.50 for every \$100 over \$16,000 \$35,000 to \$93,000 \$485, plus \$1.75 for every \$100 over \$35,000 \$93,000 to \$351,000 \$1,500 plus \$3.50 for every \$100 over \$93,000 \$351,000 to \$1,168,000 \$10,530 plus \$4.50 for every \$100 over \$351,000 >\$1,168,000 \$47,295 plus \$5.50 for every \$100 over \$1,168,000

Source: Revenue NSW

So, using the above chart, the stamp duty payable on a \$600,000 property in NSW would be around \$21,735. Using the InfoChoice Stamp Duty Calculator, here’s how much stamp duty would be payable on the same property in Australia’s other states and territories:

 State or Territory Stamp duty on a \$600,000 property Victoria \$32,689 Queensland \$15,068 South Australia \$32,620 Tasmania \$22,883 Western Australia \$23,031 Northern Territory \$30,030 ACT \$13,886

Source: InfoChoice Stamp Duty Calculator

Stamp duty is an often-unforeseen tax involved with purchasing property in Australia. As it's administered by state and territory governments, how much you might be liable to pay will depend on where you’re buying.  So, if you’re buying a house in NSW, you’ll pay a different amount of stamp duty than if you were to buy the equivalent property in Victoria or Queensland. You can generally find the rates charged in each jurisdiction on official government websites, or you can use InfoChoice’s Stamp Duty Calculator to get an instant estimate.

And don’t forget, stamp duty isn’t the only extra cost a person buying property in Australia will likely face. Others like mortgage registration fees, inspection costs, and legal bills might also apply.

Stamp duty has become increasingly unpopular in recent times. And not only with those averse to paying a tax on top of the already-lofty price typically attached to Aussie real estate. Stamp duty critics claim it discourages people from moving, which can decrease efficiency in the housing market. Some suggest alternative ways to tax real estate, like an annual land tax, could be more efficient, encouraging people to move when it suits their lifestyle and budget.

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How to avoid paying stamp duty

While not necessarily common, there are a number of circumstances in which a person buying property in Australia can dodge stamp duty costs, or at least pay a reduced amount.

Depending on the state or territory you’re buying in, you might be eligible for waived or discounted stamp duty if you’ve never owned a home before.

For instance, first home buyers in NSW don’t pay stamp duty if they’re buying property worth less than \$800,000. While in Victoria, first home buyers can dodge stamp duty if they’re forking out under \$600,000.

Some states and territories offer reduced stamp duty for people purchasing homes they plan to live in. If you’re unsure, you can always use InfoChoice’s Stamp Duty Calculator to learn whether you’re eligible for discounted stamp duty.

Purchasing a plot of land on which to build

One way to dodge paying stamp duty on the full value of your next property may be to buy land on which to build.

In such circumstances, a buyer typically only pays the tax on the value of the land purchased, not the house being built. That means they might avoid paying a significant chunk of stamp duty when purchasing land on which to build, compared to buying an established house.

Different types of property can also often attract different rates of stamp duty. For instance, from mid-2024, those buying commercial or industrial property in Victoria won’t be liable for any stamp duty. Instead, they’ll pay an annual property tax.

Transferring property between family members or inheritances

Those transferring property between family members or spouses, or receiving property through a deceased estate, might find themselves paying a lower rate of stamp duty, or none at all.

In such circumstances, it’s probably best to seek out independent professional advice to determine your stamp duty obligations.

Buying property as a pensioner or concession card holder

If you receive the pension or hold a valid concession card, your state or territory government might offer you a discount on stamp duty.

Rolling stamp duty into a home loan

If the amount of stamp duty you could be liable to pay on your next property purchase has you baulking, never fear. Many lenders – but not all – allow borrowers to roll their stamp duty costs into their home loan.

Doing so might ease the financial strain on a borrower at the time of their property purchase. However, it will also see them paying more interest than they otherwise would have, thereby increasing the cost of the tax.

Not to mention, adding your stamp duty costs into your home loan could increase your loan-to-value ratio (LVR), potentially making you ineligible for a lower interest rate home loan or forcing you to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI). In this case, LMI might be no cheaper than stamp duty, so tread carefully.

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Refinance onlyAPPLY IN MINUTES
• No application or ongoing fees. Annual rate discount
• Unlimited redraws & additional repayments. LVR <80%
• A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
Refinance onlyAPPLY IN MINUTES

Unloan – Variable Rate Home Loan – Refinance Only

• No application or ongoing fees. Annual rate discount
• Unlimited redraws & additional repayments. LVR <80%
• A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
Variable

Reduce Home Loans – Rate Cutter Home Loan (LVR < 60%)

Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning