• First home buyer threshold needs to be increased


    Author: REIWA President Damian Collins

    First Home Buyer Threshold Needs To Be Increased | REIWA

    Housing affordability should be a priority for any state government, so that first home buyers, downsizers, lifestyle seekers or any household can make the right housing decision. While WA property has become more affordable in recent years, more needs to be done to help ensure there is enough appropriate, affordable diverse housing options.

    As part of REIWA’s six-point plan to boost WA’s economy, we are calling for the WA Government to increase the stamp duty exempt threshold on finished homes for first home buyers to $550,000.

    First home buyers account for one-third of all residential property transactions in WA and play an important role in both the established residential market and the new-build market.

    Many are attracted to buying properties at the lower end of the market due to the stamp duty exemption for properties with a purchase price under $430,000. If a First home buyer purchases a built property for $530,000 or more, they pay the full rate of duty, which is over $18,000. This makes it unaffordable for the vast majority of first home buyers.

    The low limit on duty exemption has seen first home buyers experience limited choice and often forces them to buy in the outer suburbs. This goes against the state governments planning policies which encourage better use of our existing infrastructure in established areas. It also adds to the cost of living and create community problems due to increased travel to places of work.

    The main barrier to buying in the inner-metro region is price, as the proximity to the CBD leads to higher land values and prices cut out many first time buyers. If the threshold were to increase to $550,000 it would open up 49 per cent of properties in the Perth Central sub-region (within 15km of the CBD) market for both established properties and infill projects. 

    Enabling first home buyers to purchase established or infill properties provides the opportunity to live closer to the city and also has major economic flow-on effects with buyers often then spending a significant amount on renovations.

    REIWA will continue to advocate for a fair property tax system so that every West Australian has the opportunity to reach their home ownership aspirations.

    For more information about REIWA's advocacy efforts, visit our advocacy page.