NSW government ‘dining out’ on stamp duty fees



A leading industry figure has come out swinging against the NSW government and the massive surplus they pocket from exorbitant stamp duty fees, saying it’s one of the biggest hurdles in the way of housing affordability.

“Stamp duty is one of the most significant influences on property price growth in NSW. It contributes to fewer listings, so transactional activity suffers, and the flow-on impacts are felt down the supply chain: household goods suppliers, homewares retailers, white goods manufacturers, the list goes on,” said Laing+Simmons managing director Leanne Pilkington.

The Australian housing market is already seeing the affects of this; agents are reporting fewer listings due to the fact homeowners can’t afford to move and are instead choosing to renovate their current home.

According to CoreLogic, fresh housing stock levels are consistently lower than those two years previous; the biggest example of this being Sydney, where homeowners have no choice but to stay in their properties or move further out.

“As well as holding back fresh stock and fuelling unsustainable price growth, stamp duty also jeopardises employment opportunities in the real estate industry,” said Ms Pilkington.

“Stamp duty is a short term revenue booster with disastrous long term consequences that we are already seeing play out, most noticeably in the affordability crisis we are currently faced with.”

Total advertised stock levels are currently 10.2 per cent lower than a year ago and there are approximately half as many advertised properties on the market compared to the 2011 peak of over 40,000.

“While the government has dined out on stamp duty so extravagantly in recent times, it has had a pronounced flow-on impact that is already coming back to bite,” said Ms Pilkington.

“This is a tax that must shoulder the majority of the blame for the critical housing affordability issue that the people of NSW face more than those in any other state. The NSW government cannot rule out stamp duty reform forever if it serious about helping people, especially young people, enter the property market.”

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