Stamp duty goes through the roof

Victorian homebuyers are paying more than 60 per cent more in stamp duty than since 1999 due to soaring property prices and higher stamp duty charges. In popular Melbourne suburbs such as Carlton, Blackburn and Carnegie, stamp duty changes have risen by about 100 per cent or $10,000. In Frankston, stamp duty has risen 225 per cent from $3,000 to $9,790 calculated on a median-price home of $235,000.

Other outer suburbs hit hard are Healesville (up 216 per cent to $7,900), Upwey (up 160 per cent to $9,400) and Mt Evelyn (up 210 per cent to $8,900). In Melbourne's most expensive suburb, Toorak, the median house price has risen from about $630,000 to $1.6 million with stamp duty charges rising from $33,000 to $91,000. The Commonwealth Grants Commission found that Victoria has the highest stamp duty charges in Australia, 25 per cent above the national average. A Government spokesman said that from July 1, 2002, stamp duty will be abolished on mortgages, saving each home buyer about $1,000 on a median-priced house.