28 October 2019
Downsizing is set to be an election issue in Western Australia, with the State’s Opposition indicating it will cut stamp duty for all seniors moving from the family home.
Shadow WA Treasurer Dean Nalder made the downsizing stamp duty comments, after the WA Labor Government unveiled a separate new incentive giving major stamp duty cuts to all buyers who purchase off-the-plan apartments.
The government’s incentive - which is now in place - will allow buyers (including foreign purchasers) the ability to claim 75 per cent stamp duty discounts, worth up to $50,000.
WA Labor Premier Mark McGowan said: “This new WA jobs initiative will drive investment into our local residential construction industry and support the WA property sector.”
"Effective immediately, it's another targeted measure to help stimulate our economy, which we can afford to do because we got the finances under control."
The government also said the initiative will help “older Western Australians looking to downsize into a more fit for purpose dwelling.”
However, the State Opposition indicated it would go further by introducing a downsizing-specific stamp duty initiative before the 2021 State election.
"We went to the last election promising a review on stamp duty for people downsizing," Mr Nalder told Perth radio.
“It's something that's been talked about in the community for a long period of time and if we look at what we committed to at the last election, it was for total relief up to a value of $440,000 or half the stamp duty up to $750,000 on people downsizing their homes."
The Real Estate Institute of Australia Western Australian Division has also recently called for a $10,000 concession on stamp duty for seniors over the age of 65 to encourage appropriate ‘right-sizing’
"To help seniors over the age of 65 to be able to ‘right-size’ their properties, REIWA is asking the State Government to introduce a $10,000 concession which will open up housing diversity options for all potential homebuyers,” REIWA President Damian Collins said
During October, the WA Government also released its new seniors housing policy, which includes a commitment to trial new innovative housing models such as shared equity.
See this blog for seniors-specific stamp duty concessions across Australia.