Most experts expect house prices to increase over the next few month. Image – Canva.
  • 74% believe first home buyers will be priced out
  • Sydney house prices have risen the fastest since the 1980s
  • Average Sydney property attracts stamp duty of $34,980

39 experts and economists across Australia participated in Finder’s recent RBA Cash Rate survey, where house prices and other issues related to the economy were discussed.

Most notably, 74% of experts surveyed predict that first home buyers will be priced out of the market, based on house prices continuing to rise over the next few months.

The survey’s findings come as the latest CoreLogic data shows that Sydney house prices surged 3.6% in March – the fastest rise since the 1980s.

Finder’s Head of Research, Graham Cooke, said that despite record-low interest rates coupled with government incentives, many would-be first home buyers still can’t reach even the lower step of the property ladder.

“After enjoying a brief opportunity to pounce during the pandemic, first home buyers are once again being left behind as investors return and the market bounces back.”

“Many first home buyers have been locked out of capital cities for some time, despite having sizeable deposits saved, and we’re now starting to see some regional areas becoming overly expensive”

Graham Cooke, Finder Head of Research

Push to lower stamp duty

58% of experts agree that stamp duty should be lowered in light of increasing house prices, while a third believing it should remain the same level.

There have been numerous calls to reform stamp duty – such as from REINSW and REIWA.

Mr Cooke added that the average property in Sydney attracts stamp duty upwards of $34,980 – a significant sum for first home buyers who may not be able to access exemptions or concessions.

“Stamp duty is one of the biggest hurdles for prospective first home buyers, many of whom can’t afford an extra $30,000 or more on top of their house deposit.

“Although the government offers stamp duty concessions to eligible first home buyers who live in their property, those who buy for investment purposes still need to pay up.

“This is extremely frustrating for those who can’t afford to buy where they want to live.”

Grants, concessions and exemptions vary across Australia as stamp duty is a state/territory tax – different to most direct and indirect taxes, which are mandated by the Federal Government.

Generally speaking, most first home buyers can enjoy a stamp duty exemption or concessions as long it is below a certain value, which varies from each jurisdiction. Notably, South Australia does not currently offer any exemptions or concessions.

Some temporary changes were brought in during the pandemic, so best to check the appropriate state or territory department for updated information.

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