The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has hailed the State Opposition’s pledge to raise the threshold for first home buyer stamp duty concessions as a beacon of hope for those struggling to get onto the property ladder. REIQ Chief Executive Officer Antonia Mercorella voiced strong support for the proposal, highlighting the growing inaccessibility of home ownership in Queensland, which has seen record-low levels in contrast to other states.
“The relative affordability of housing in Queensland compared to the southern states makes it quite concerning that our home ownership levels are the lowest in the country,” Ms. Mercorella stated. She went on to describe the disillusionment faced by Queenslanders amidst escalating property prices and interest rates, making the dream of owning a home seemingly unattainable.
Mercorella articulated the common hurdle for renters, who, although often able to manage weekly rental payments and likely to afford mortgage repayments, find the initial costs of a deposit and stamp duty too steep to overcome. Mercorella affirmed, “This commitment to raise the stamp duty concession threshold would help bring back confidence to first home buyers by reducing one of the initial financial obstacles standing in the way of them getting onto the property ladder.”
Currently, Queenslanders are exempt from stamp duty when purchasing a first home valued under $500,000. The REIQ, earlier this January, urged for this threshold to be increased for the first time since 2008, proposing a new benchmark of at least $750,000 to better reflect current property market conditions.
In light of the State Opposition’s announcement, the REIQ has called for more details, including a specific figure for the revised threshold. “While this is a promising announcement by the State Opposition, to give this commitment substance, we would like to see them name a number for the revised threshold,” Mercorella emphasised.
The REIQ ultimately seeks comprehensive reform of stamp duty and views the adjustment of the concession threshold as a logical initial step toward broader changes that would benefit potential homeowners throughout Queensland.