Stamp Duty slashed for first home buyers and the construction industry

First home buyers and the construction industry in NSW will be the big winners under a targeted boost to eliminate stamp duty on newly-built homes below $800,000 and slash thousands of dollars for properties up to $1 million.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the change to stamp duty thresholds would also support new home construction and create jobs as part of the Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

At a Glance:

  • Threshold above which stamp duty will be charged on new homes for first home buyers increases from $650,000 to $800,000
  • Forecasts more than 6,000 first home buyers will benefit from the changes
  • Stamp duty threshold on vacant land will rise from $350,000 to $400,000 and will phase out at $500,000.

“Thousands of people will see their bank balances benefit from this change – it will help get more keys into more front doors of more new homes,” Ms Berejiklian said. 

“It will also boost housing construction across NSW and support jobs in the building industry at a time when we need them more than ever before.”

Under the changes the threshold above which stamp duty will be charged on new homes for first home buyers will increase from the current $650,000 to $800,000, with the concession reducing on higher values before phasing out at $1 million. 

The Government forecasts more than 6,000 first home buyers will benefit from the changes, saving eligible first homebuyers thousands of dollars. 

Under the changes the stamp duty threshold on vacant land will rise from $350,000 to $400,000 and will phase out at $500,000. 

The change to the thresholds will only apply to newly-built homes and vacant land, not to existing homes, and will last for a 12-month period, commencing on 1 August 2020.

Other purchases will continue to benefit from existing schemes.

Source: NSW Government

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the changes would save first home buyers stamp duty of up to $31,335 on a new $800,000 home.

“The current scheme has already helped over 93,000 first home buyers since July 2017 and this will give the construction industry extra support as we face the challenges of COVID-19,” said Mr Perrottet.

“We need to ensure our building sites keep ringing with hammers and saws as that means more people working, and first home owners will save money in the process.”

The NSW Government will also continue to offer a $10,000 First Home Owner Grant, which is available to people buying a new first home worth no more than $600,000, or buying land and building a new first home worth no more than $750,000 in total.

This means the maximum amount of benefit a home owner could be entitled to is $32,335 if purchasing a new home and accessing the grant.

Siggi Muehlich – Sydney Northern Beaches Buyers Agents

Covid-19 has changed the homes we want

COVID-19, and the copious amounts of time we have spent isolating at home, has served to hasten the pace of these changes and strengthen our desire to adapt them. At its core is the re-emergence of the village at the heart of our daily lives, and also the desire for greater privacy or ‘me time’.

“The biggest issue COVID-19 has brought about is the rise of the village,” said Adam Haddow, architect and urban designer at SJB Architects.

“Modernism previously told us we couldn’t have working, living, sleeping and recreation all together but coronavirus is encouraging that. We are living more locally.

“It is radical in a way. The villages are prospering at the moment, suburban strips of shops are going gangbusters while in contrast the CBD sits empty.

“Knowing about where you live and the community you live in has become much more important. You are getting amenity from your local goods and services, you know the man or woman who owns the local shop. You have a link with the dry cleaner. “It does fundamentally change the way you live.”

The domino effect of this village-centre approach will be at the heart of new designs and developments. “This all plays into the expectations of projects,” Mr Haddow said.

“People want diversity. They want some level of a supermarket, a coffee shop, a baker, a newsagent and a butcher and it becomes more about locally not nationally.

“It is not about gaining an income for the strata through mixed retail space, it is about adding to your life. Do you feel safe, healthy, that you are living a quality life? All of these things are very much front of mind now. That sense of amenity is vital. We realise now we don’t want to drive across town to get what we want.” At an individual, couple or family level this has also led to a revision of our lifestyles.

“The COVID-19 scenario has meant a review of what living means to us, creating spaces that are meaningful and flexible and that can give that space where you can work quietly,” said Fabrizio Perilli, CEO of TOGA Development and Construction.

“From an apartment block perspective that means reviewing that community space, those dedicated, shared spaces, Outdoor areas, common, landscape areas where you sit outside and reflect, to be a space of sufficient size, welcoming and providing privacy.

“That flexibility in the home itself can be equally provided for an apartment or a house.”

Time spent working from home has also challenged our ideas about what our home should provide. “People now really appreciate that other room, or study room, they can close off,’ Mr Perilli said.

“They have also come to enjoy the privacy that an enclosed kitchen can provide and the more efficient use of storage space. There is also the usefulness of a multipurpose room. That’s not a living room or a bedroom but a flexible space that can change as you or your family does.”

More time at home and more time to ponder our lives, as a result of lockdown and isolation during the coronavirus epidemic, also means we know exactly what we want.

“People have now spent a lot of time at home and they are seeing the value in what they have and what they don’t have,” Mr Haddow said.

“They need a quiet spot where they can sit on the computer. They want to have a bit of a backyard so they don’t have to take the dog outside and around the block to pee.

“It is a more local way of living. It is more connected. You will see a return to more Juliette balconies, more communal living space in the bigger developments. People know what they want more than they ever did before. Before they wanted what was nice, now they want what is essential, what they are going to use.

Siggi Muehlich – Sydney Northern Beaches Buyers Agents

Foreign Investment rules for property changes

If you’re a foreign buyer looking to purchase a residential property in Australia, these are the changes you will need to know, according to Daniel Ward of Knight Frank.

In amongst the rapid fire of legislation responding to Covid-19 came some subtle changes to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). 

Australia’s FIRB is the government body that advises the Treasurer on inbound foreign investment. The aim of the FIRB is to encourage foreign investment in Australia but also ensure this investment goes towards new build developments to support housing supply.

So, unless you’re an Australian citizen, you will most likely need to apply to FIRB before you can purchase your home.

Changes that have taken place

In March 2020, the Treasurer of Australia, Josh Frydenberg, made temporary changes in recognition of the fact that the economic impacts of Covid-19 could make Australian assets vulnerable to increased foreign interest. 

“Josh Frydenberg made temporary changes to the foreign investment review framework in order to further protect Australia’s national interests,” said Michelle Ciesielski, Head of Residential Research at Knight Frank in Australia. 

“The changes will remain in place for the duration of the current crisis with no end date given yet,”

The key changes that affect foreign purchasers are as follows:

  • All proposed foreign investments into Australia, subject to the Act, will require approval, regardless of value or the nature of the foreign investor.
  • FIRB will extend timeframes for reviewing applications from 30 days to up to six months.

Daniel Ward, Associate Director,Residential – Project Marketing said Australia always has been, and is perhaps now even more so, an extremely attractive place to invest money.

“Whilst the Government was proactive and effective in dealing with the pandemic, its economy was not immune and suffered the same shocks to productivity as the rest of the world,” said Mr Ward.

“The purpose of these changes is to protect Australian businesses that have been affected by the economic impacts of Covid-19, leaving them vulnerable.

“Foreign purchasers of residential property will be largely unaffected except for the increased timescale from 30 days to six months for the application.”

The new fees were adjusted on 1st July 2020 and are as follows:

Siggi Muehlich – Sydney Northern Beaches Buyers Agents

Sydney Northern Beaches Rock Pools

The world famous Northern Beaches rock pools are great places to cool down or do a few laps, they compliment the surf perfectly and offer the best of both worlds when you can’t choose between a swimming pool or the beach. These salty ocean pools are located on either the northern or southern parts of the beach, built into rock formations they offer a stunning outlook to the ocean.  The photo below is Mona Vale Beach rock pool.

Siggi Muehlich – Sydney Northern Beaches Buyers Agents

For a detailed description of each Rockpool and some beautiful photos, take a look here :