New Thresholds for NSW Stamp Duty Exemptions

Support for NSW first home buyers improves with more properties now exempt from Stamp Duty.

From 1 July 2023, First Home Buyers can receive a full exemption on Transfer Duty (formerly known as Stamp Duty) on the purchase of new or existing homes valued up to $800,000, whilst homes valued over $800,000 and less than $1,000,000 may qualify for a concessional rate.

The previous threshold for a full exemption was $650,000 which provided very little choice for prospective buyers, particularly for those wanting to purchase in Sydney. The new threshold is an improvement; however, it is still well below the median Sydney house price which was $1,230,581 according to CoreLogic Home Value Index as of April 2023.

The Revenue NSW website lists the following criteria for eligibility of the first home buyer assistance scheme:

  • The purchase must be for a new or existing home, or vacant land in NSW.
  • The property value must be within the threshold amounts.
  • The transfer must be for the whole property.
  • You must be an individual, (not a company or trust, although a waiver can apply).
  • You must be over 18 (this requirement can be waived upon application).
  • You and your spouse or partner, must never have owned or co-owned residential property in Australia.
  • You and your spouse or partner, must never have previously received an exemption or concession under the scheme.
  • At least one of the first home buyers must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • For new or existing homes, you must meet certain requirements for living in the property.

In addition to the threshold changes, the NSW Government has increased the amount of time you must live in the property as your principal place of residence from 6 months to at least 12 continuous months. Additionally, you must move into the home within 12 months of settlement, although there are exemptions for members of the Australian Defence Force. The changes apply to contracts exchanged after 1 July 2023.

The thresholds for vacant land will remain unchanged at $350,000 for a full Transfer Duty exemption and a concessional rate for land valued above $350,000 and less than $450,000.

In addition to these changes, as of 1 July 2023 the NSW Government has closed off access to the former Governments First Home Buyer Choice (FHBC) scheme. This initiative allowed eligible first home buyers to opt out of Transfer Duty in exchange for paying a smaller annual property tax. The Property Tax scheme will be grandfathered so first home buyers who opted into the annual property tax can continue to pay that tax until they sell their property.

First Home Buyers can research their eligibility for the tax exemptions and other NSW Government assistance by utilising a new Home Buyer Assistance Finder Tool located on the NSW Government website.

To determine how much Transfer Duty a first home buyer might be required to pay you can utilise the First Home Buyer Assistance calculator provided by Revenue NSW.

For those who do not qualify for first home buyer assistance please utilise the calculator for the Transfer of Land or Business, also provided by Revenue NSW.

If you need to obtain a property valuation to calculate your stamp duty, please contact us or request a free quote using our online form.

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  • Explaining Labor’s Help To Buy Housing Scheme

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