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Stamp duty ‘stifles housing mobility’: REIQ

by Adrian Suljanovic11 minute read

There has been a new call to uplift the stamp duty concession threshold rates in the Sunshine State.

At present, first-time buyers in Queensland can only pay no stamp duty on properties where the home is purchased for less than $500,000.

That’s despite the median house price climbing upwards of $760,000 in Greater Brisbane – and to $1 million the closer you get to the CBD.

And with home ownership levels steadily declining across Queensland, the REIQ is ramping up calls for “an overdue revision” to the tax thresholds.


Antonia Mercorella, the chief executive at the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), has flagged that the Institute is advocating a $250,000 increase to the first home buyer threshold to better reflect current day property prices.

She’s calling for the threshold to be lifted to $750,000, noting that “the average cost of an entry level property has rapidly outpaced the current threshold of the first home buyer’s concession being $500,000.”

With the threshold not having been reviewed since 2008, Ms Mercorella remarked that “it raises the question of the effectiveness of a first home buyer stamp duty concession when the ability to utilise it is severely limited.”

She continued: “While we are yet to see any appetite from the state government to tackle the inefficient and regressive tax that is stamp duty, a sensible interim measure would be to lift the concessional threshold for first home buyers to a figure of at least $750,000.”

The CEO believes the change, if enacted, would be “a sensible starting point for the suite of stamp duty reforms that the REIQ ha[s] been strenuously advocating for over many years.”

She pointed to the decade-low number of first home buyers accessing the concession, which could be considered as dovetailing in with the current housing affordability and accessibility issue.

“Stamp duty can add tens of thousands to the overall cost of buying a new home, which stifles housing mobility,” she raised.

“It is an inherently lazy tax that rewards the state government coffers while punishing those starting their home ownership journey.

“At an estimates hearing in July 2021, the Treasurer previously ruled out reforming stamp duty in Queensland arguing that it was affordable, but we think it’s time to review that decision as Queensland has the lowest levels of home ownership in the country.”

That’s despite stamp duty on property transfers nearly tripling over the last decade, the CEO stressed, with “no commensurate investment in the provision of infrastructure for new housing or social housing.”

“The Queensland government recently announced its intent to help more Queenslanders buy their first home and one of the biggest obstacles to home ownership is stamp duty, so reforming stamp duty would be a powerful move towards that goal,” Ms Mercorella concluded.

[RELATED: Investor concerns mount over Victorian land tax]

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Adrian Suljanovic


Adrian Suljanovic is a journalist on Momentum Media's mortgages titles: The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

Adrian has written for a range of titles under the Momentum Media umbrella such as IFA, Investor Daily and Lawyer’s Weekly before joining the mortgages team in 2022.

He graduated from the University of Wollongong in 2021 gaining a Bachelor of Communication & Media with a major in Digital & Social Media.

E-mail Adrian at: [email protected]


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