COST CONCERNS: With auctions and other forms of property selling continuing to prove popular, stamp duty is a major impost for buyers.
COST CONCERNS: With auctions and other forms of property selling continuing to prove popular, stamp duty is a major impost for buyers. Erle Levey

REINSW pushing for stamp duty cut

PROPERTY experts have called for stamp duty to be abolished or significantly cut in spite of the NSW Government's claim it would drive up house prices.

REINSW president Malcolm Gunning has revealed stamp duty rates in NSW have undergone more than a seven-fold increase over the past 20 years.

According to the 2015 State of the Regions report, an average home in the Northern Rivers costs $383,000 and carries an extra $12,275 stamp duty.

Mr Gunning rejected Premier Mike Baird's comments last week that reducing the tax would fuel the existing affordability crisis.

"Abolishing stamp duty for first home buyers on existing properties and reviewing stamp duty rates that have not been touched for 30 years would see more properties enter the market," Mr Gunning said.

"Lower volumes drive higher property prices, while higher volumes slow the market and improve affordability.

"The NSW government, which has seen a windfall of $5.18 billion in stamp duty from residential transactions this financial year, will see even more revenue by reducing stamp duty rates."

Property Council of Australia CEO Ken Morrison called for no stamp duty. "The stamp duty rates were all struck in 1986 when the average home was $75,000," he said.

"What we have is a runaway cash grab that's ruining the economy and pushing property ownership out of reach for some people."



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