Stamp duty is increasingly being looked at the more housing affordability continues to be a problem facing Australian property buyers, and one expert has called for a concession for the over 70s.
Angus Raine is the executive chairman of real estate agents Raine & Horne and he’s come out urging State Governments to give stamp duty tax breaks for home owners over the age of 70 to boost the second-home buyer market and help them downsize.
In markets such as Melbourne where housing affordability is a stress facing many homebuyers, Mr Raine says a concession on stamp duty for those over 70 would help them when it came time to move out of the big family home once the kids have left.
According to CoreLogic the median stamp duty in Melbourne and Sydney is over $30,000. It would be a significant impost on those heading into the final years of their life.
“The national housing debate focuses mostly on first home buyers, and with good reason given climbing real estate values combined with an ongoing shortage of new homes,” he told The Adviser.
“The trouble is that upgrading to a bigger home is not a simple or straightforward transaction, especially with more empty-nesters in Sydney and Melbourne sitting tight on large family homes.”
“Empty-nesters are hindering the second home buyer markets in our major capital cities because the stamp duty costs for them to buy a smaller property or a different location are too prohibitive.” Mr Raine said.
“Stamp duty eats into the retirement nest-eggs of many older Australians, especially those who have very little in the way of superannuation savings, because the majority of their working careers were completed prior to the introduction of compulsory superannuation in the early 1990s.”
“Stamp duty-free real estate transactions for older Australians will help address some of the current supply constraints that are cramping the real estate plans of many upgraders.”
With housing affordability an ongoing and increasing problem in Australia, it doesn’t look like the pressure will come off stamp duty and its role in the housing industry any time soon.