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What is stamp duty?

What is stamp duty and how does it work?

Stamp duty is a tax you're required to pay when you purchase a property, and serves to cover the administrative costs of the government changing the title and ownership details. As you plan out your next property purchase and budget accordingly, it's important to know what sort of stamp duty costs you'll be required to pay upon purchase.

There is unfortunately no universal figure or percentage for stamp duty calculation, it depends greatly on the state you live in, the value of the property, whether or not it's your first property purchase, and finally, the nature of the property itself.

Generally speaking, stamp duty is calculated as a percentage of either the price you paid for the property, or the property's market value (whichever is higher). There are exceptions even to this broad statement however, as land and building packages and empty land complicate things further. All Australian states have a price threshold, so if you are purchasing a property below a certain amount, some exemptions and reductions take effect, however it differs by state. Further, many states have stamp duty exemptions and reductions in place for those purchasing their first property, or grant schemes to offset the tax.

Payable stamp duty can be sent through a notice to your new address, and will provide all the necessary details of the payment as it relates to state law. Many lenders will allow you to work the stamp duty costs (calculated ahead of time) to be capitalised into the capital of your loan, and release the funds on the notification of payment due.

It's important that you understand the unique stamp duty requirements for the state you live in, so before you get too far into the buying process, make sure you know how much you'll need to pay, and how you plan to pay it.


First home buyer?

Buying your first home is an important life decision and our First Home Buyers Guide will take you through it, step by step.

We're here to help.