Victorians miss stamp duty savings

Victorian first home-buyers who have one or more dependent children or hold concession cards are generally unaware that thousand of dollars of savings in stamp duty have been available from the Government since July.

Home buyers in these groups are now eligible for stamp duty savings of around $5,000 on properties worth up to $150,000, and partial exemptions on a sliding scale are also available for properties worth between $150,000 and $200,000. The initiative was introduced in the Victorian Government's Budget, yet people seem to be largely unaware of it – and this includes real estate agents. It could boost a slowing housing market, particularly in outer Melbourne suburbs and regional Victoria, where many properties are still priced at below $200,000, agents say.

The former stamp duty exemptions ruled out most people who applied, due to the income eligibility rules being so stringent. But the new exemptions, although they gradually reduce as property values increase, can be very worthwhile. A house worth $180,000 would attract a rebate of $around $1,900 on a stamp duty fee of $6,460.