Australia: Changes to transfer duty rates in Queensland and the end of sustainability declarations

Last Updated: 22 June 2012
Article by Cameron Graham and Amy Tym

Amendments to the Duties Act 2001 and the Building Act 1975 were passed by the Queensland Parliament on 19 June 2012 to:

  1. reinstate the transfer duty home concession; and
  2. abolish the requirement for sellers of residential premises to provide sustainability declarations to prospective buyers.

How will the amendments affect home buyers?

Before it was abolished in August 2011, the transfer duty home concession gave a concession for buyers of residential property who intend to live in that property. The amendments to the Duties Act 2001 reinstate this concession so that the rate of transfer duty payable is $1 for each $100 for the first $350,000 of the purchase price of the home, with standard rates applying for any part of the purchase price above $350,000. This could save home buyers up to $7,000.

There are minimum occupancy and eligibility requirements and also anti-avoidance provisions to prevent buyers terminating existing contracts.

How will the amendments affect first home buyers?

The first home duty concession currently phases out completely for contracts valued at $600,000 or more.

The amendments will bring the phase-out value down to $550,000, thereby reducing the scope of the concession for first home buyers. The LNP cites the lack of success in incentives designed to reinvigorate the building industry as one of the triggers for this reduction. Amendments will also be made to the first home vacant land concession.

Please see our comparative table below for more information.

How will the amendments affect sellers?

The amendments to the Building Act 1975 remove the requirement for sellers to prepare a sustainability declaration and provide it to potential buyers of residential property. This will not only eliminate red tape but also the risk that sellers may have to compensate a buyer if they make a mistake in their sustainability declaration.

When will the amendments take effect?

Provided that the bill receives royal assent, the new transfer duty rates will commence on 1 July 2012 and will apply to all residential property contracts entered into on or after that date.

The abolition of the requirement for sellers to provide a sustainability declaration takes effect once the bill receives royal assent, which is likely to be before 1 July 2012.

Home Transfer Duty Concession from 1 July 2012

Purchase Price Duty Payable
Up to $350,000 $1 for each $100 or part of $100
$350,001 to $540,000 $3,500 plus $3.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $350,000
$540,001 to $980,000 $10,150 plus $4.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $540,000
More than $980,000 $29,950 plus $5.25 for every $100 or part of $100 over $980,000

First Home Concession up to 30 June 2012

Purchase Price Concession
Not more than $509,999.99 Up to $15,525
$510,000 to $519,999.99 $13,925
$520,000 to $529,999.99 $12,325
$530,000 to $539,999.99 $10,725
$540,000 to $549,999.99 $9,125
$550,000 to $559,999.99 $7,550
$560,000 to $569,999.99 $6,000
$570,000 to $579,999.99 $4,500
$580,000 to $589,999.99 $3,000
$590,000 to $599,999.99 $1,500
$600,000 or more nil

First Home Concession from 1 July 2012

Purchase Price Concession
Not more than $504,999.99 $8,750
$505,000 to $509,999.99 $7,875
$510,000 to $514,999.99 $7,000
$515,000 to $519,999.99 $6,125
$520,000 to $524,999.99 $5,250
$525,000 to $529,999.99 $4,375
$530,000 to $534,999.99 $3,500
$535,000 to $539,999.99 $2,625
$540,000 to $544,999.99 $1,750
$545,000 to $549,999.99 $875
$550,000 or more nil

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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