Tax and legal advice
Amanda Graham

Tasmanian stamp duty discount promise is welcome but continues political games

By Amanda Graham

A promise by the ruling Tasmanian Liberal Party to slash stamp duty for seniors is a welcome move likely to fuel further interest from sea and tree changers from interstate, with flow-on benefits for the local economy.

And let’s hope it creates pressure for other states to do likewise.

But it does continue the unfortunate election-time political games being played with this issue.

According to media reports, the Tasmanian Liberal Party has said that it will introduce the stamp duty cuts if re-elected at the state’s 3 March 2018 election.

Eligible pensioners would be able to receive the discount on homes purchased up to $400,000 for 12 months. This would reduce stamp duty for a $400,000 home from $14,000 to $7,000.

It is estimated that 50,000 Tasmanian households would be eligible for the discount, as well as many sea changers and tree changers from other states who are showing great interest in the apple isle already. Some developers of downsizer properties located in Tasmania are reporting that up to 30 per cent of all their enquiries are coming from potential interstate buyers.

The promise of any stamp duty reduction for downsizers is of course welcome, but it does continue the somewhat disturbing practice of such discounts targeted at retirees being floated as an election-time ploy rather than as a serious policy proposal.

In February 2017 — just one month before an election — the then ruling Liberal Party in Western Australia made a similar announcement. It promised that, if re-elected, eligible seniors would pay no stamp duty on property worth up to $440,000 and the tax would be roughly halved on a $750,000 property. The two-year program was to be capped at 2,000 houses per year, representing lost stamp duty revenue for the state of up to $25 million.

But the then opposition ALP Party came straight out of the blocks to attack the policy, stating that it had no funding attached and represented a “debt-funded promise to buy votes”. The ALP was subsequently elected in March 2017 and promptly kicked the downsizing stamp duty cut idea into the political rubbish bin.

Popular

Tasmania is becoming an increasingly attractive location for downsizers and regularly appears in the most popular search lists.

According to CoreLogic, Tasmanian property prices increased by 12.7 per cent over the 12 months to October 2017, with Hobart prices leading the charge.

“Hobart is benefiting from renewed housing demand in the form of interstate migration, particularly Sydneysiders and Melbournites who appear to be utilising their enhanced wealth positions to buy very well in Hobart, where housing prices are substantially lower than those in Australia’s largest cities,” said Tim Lawless, head of research at CoreLogic.

The same level of popularity cannot be said for the Tasmanian Liberals, who are facing an uphill battle to retain their majority in the Tasmanian Parliament. The most likely election result would appear to be a hung Parliament, where no political party has a majority.

It is good news that the Liberals are promising stamp duty cuts for seniors, particularly given an analysis by Downsizing.com.au from July last year which shows that the issue is barely on the radar of most mainland state treasurers.

In addition, report after report has shown that stamp duty is a major barrier to older home owners who want to downsize.

The lack of action by state governments on stamp duty cuts is puzzling, given that downsizing retirees tend to free up larger family homes for the younger, larger families who really need them, and even though it creates flow-on benefits for the entire housing market.

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Amanda Graham

Amanda Graham

Amanda Graham is the co-CEO of Downsizing.com.au.

FROM THE WEB

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Launceston
Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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