Stamp duty fees for Victorian home buyers increase 800 per cent in 20 years

South Yarra renter David Gillespie. Picture: Sarah Matray.

STAMP DUTY fees for Victorian home buyers have increased almost 800 per cent in the past 20 years, more than any other state or territory.

In 1995 the stamp duty on the average house price was $4060. Today stamp duty for an average house is $32,282, a 795 per cent increase.

The massive jump was almost double the increase in the median house price, which rose about 473 per cent in the same time, according to the Property Council of Victoria.

Property Council deputy director Asher Judah said Victorians paid the highest stamp duty in the country and the tax should be cut.

“It is an aggressive tax, stamp duty has risen five times the rate of CPI over the last 20 years and almost twice the amount that property prices have increased,” Mr Judah said.

Stamp duty paid on a median house.

Stamp duty paid on a median house.

“So the biggest increase in the price of housing in Victoria is actually the State Government, the biggest contributor to housing prices percentage wise is the State Government.”

Stamp duty for a house worth between $130,000 and $960,000 is charged at 6 per cent of the value, plus an extra $2870.

Victoria’s stamp duty income is expected to hit $5 billion for the first time next financial year as the Government relies on house prices increasing to fill the state’s coffers.

South Yarra renter David Gillespie, 28, said he was saving to buy his first house but extra costs such as stamp duty made it much harder to get into the market.

“House prices are ridiculous now, there should be more help from the government for first home buyers,” he said. “Stamp duty is a massive slap in the face.”

The state budget released last month forecast stamp duty income would keep growing, with an additional $231 million expected over the next four years. The budget documents said the strong land tax income was “masking weaknesses in other sources of taxation revenue’’ for the Government.

Mr Judah said both sides of politics were just as bad as each other when it came to cutting stamp duty.

Treasurer Tim Pallas’ spokesman Elliot Giakalis said the Government was fully aware of the concerns and obstacles facing first home buyers and was committed to looking at the issue of housing affordability.

“At a time when the Abbott Government is short-changing Victoria when it comes to infrastructure investment, there are no current plans to change stamp duty arrangements,” Mr Giakalis said.


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