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REIQ Journal : July 2008
e 15 Among the most notable announcements in the recent State Budget was that first home buyers will be exempt from stamp duty on homes up to $350,000 from 1 July and on homes up to $500,000 from 1 September. The transfer duty rate structure has been revised and simplified to make Queensland more competitive with other states and the abolition of mortgage duty has been brought forward six months to 1 July this year. These initiatives will provide much-needed savings of up to $9,500 for anyone buying their first home. The majority of house sales in Queensland last year were for less than $500,000 so lifting the first home buyer stamp duty threshold to this amount has the potential to benefit a significant number of first home buyers who have been struggling to get into the market. The REIQ also welcomes the reduction of the amount of tax at the land tax threshold. For resident individuals the current $600,000 threshold, the highest of any state, will be maintained with the tax payable at the threshold to be reduced from $1,200 to $500. For companies, trustees and absentees the current $350,000 threshold, which is already competitive, will be maintained, with the tax payable at the threshold reduced from $2,250 to $1,450. With Queensland now the least affordable state in the country, these measures are a sign the State Government is serious about doing its part to address housing affordability. REIQ Journal July 2008