Canberra expands stamp duty exemption

The ACT government’s stamp duty concession will now apply to off-the-plan properties valued up to $800,000.


By the end of this month, ACT home buyers purchasing apartments or townhouses off-the-plan will no longer have to pay stamp duty if the property is valued at $800,000 or less.

Previously, the concession only applied to properties valued up to $700,000.

The new exemption will come into effect from 27 November 2023, and applies only to owner-occupiers who agree to live in the home continuously for at least one year from the date of settlement.

The concession also only refers to purchases on RZ1-zoned suburban-residential blocks.

According to the ACT government, this expanded concession means that home buyers could save $22,704 on the purchase of an $800,000 property.

“Stamp duty can be a significant barrier to home ownership,” ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr stated.

“Further increasing the concession threshold for off-the-plan units purchases will support more prospective home buyers, including downsizers, to purchase an apartment or townhouse in Canberra.”

The ACT government revealed that this is just the latest accelerant in a long-term tax reform project, noting that the territory government has cut stamp duty every year since 2012.

In July 2021, off-the-plan units were only exempt from stamp duty if they were valued at $500,000 or less, but the threshold has widened steadily since then.

“This is just one of a range of measures we are delivering to increase housing supply, affordability and choice,” Mr Barr asserted.

Supply is evidently a priority for the ACT government, with the owner-occupier stamp duty exemption set to coincide with new incentives for subdividers, also set to roll in on 27 November.

From late November 2023 until June 2026, the ACT’s new Territory Plan will allow owners of large residential blocks over 800 square metres to construct a small second dwelling under a unit title, and sell it off individually.

Changes to lease variation charge (LVC) will also come into effect on the same date, with the aim of breathing new life into Canberra’s struggling rental market.

Previously the world’s most expensive city for rentals, landlords have recently had difficulty securing tenants for over $1,000 per week.

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Canberra expands stamp duty exemption
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