Off-the-plan apartment buyers in Western Australia will continue to be able to access a $50,000 stamp duty discount for a further two years, in a boost for downsizing in the State.

As part of its Budget handed down on 9 September, the WA Government announced it would be setting aside $26.2 million for the rebate in 2021-22. 

The rebate will allow buyers who sign pre-construction contracts to purchase a new residential unit between October 24, 2021 and October 24, 2023 to access a 50 per cent transfer duty discount of up to $50,000.

Up until 23 October, buyers will be able to claim a 75 per cent stamp duty rebate, also up to $50,000.

Finance Minister Tony Buti said: “This rebate applies to new residential units or apartments in a multi-tiered strata development, so it's a great way to encourage infill and a good opportunity for first homebuyers or downsizers.”

While the WA real estate sector welcomed the rebate extension, it said the budget did not go far enough.

Before the budget, the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) proposed a $10,000 seniors stamp duty discount and introducing a new annual payment option for stamp duty.

“Whilst the extension of the off-the-plan rebate is welcomed, we are disappointed none of the other reforms were considered. We are particularly disappointed no consideration was given to implementing a two-stream stamp duty revenue collection method,” said REIWA president Damian Collins

“REIWA’s recommendation for a two-stream revenue collection model for stamp duty would give purchasers the option to pay stamp duty upfront (as is currently the case) or opt for an ongoing annual fee, calculated at the purchase price of the property.

“Stamp duty is an important revenue earner for the WA Government, but it is also an inefficient and inequitable tax that actively discourages home ownership and makes it significantly more difficult for West Aussies to move more frequently.

“Reforming stamp duty by implementing a two-stream revenue collection method would remove one of the biggest financial hurdles buyers face and result in a significant productivity boost for our economy”

Research published last week found the Perth new apartment market has bounced back, recording the strongest quarter of activity in five years as owner-occupiers - including downsizers - seek to snap up luxury off-the-plan apartments.

Find out more:

Official WA stamp duty site