Tasmanians will be able to more easily claim a downsizing stamp duty concession and access fast-tracked approvals and $10,000 grants when building a new granny flat as part of a raft of new housing affordability measures.

The Tasmanian Government has announced that the property price threshold for claiming its downsizing stamp duty concession has increased from $400,000 to $500,000.

Using the incentive, pensioners have the opportunity to claim a 50 per cent stamp duty discount if they sell their family home in Tasmania and downsize into another existing home in the State with a lesser value. 

The downsizer must live in both the home they are moving from, and the home they are moving into, for at least six months.

By increasing the threshold to $500,000, the value of the concession will increase from just under $6,989 to around $9,124.

The Tasmanian Government has said the increase reflected increased Tasmanian dwelling prices. According to CoreLogic, at the end of February, Tasmania’s capital of Hobart had a median dwelling price of $535,000, an annual increase of 8.7 per cent.

The change is expected to be in place shortly, following parliamentary approval.

Downsizers typically are required to pay stamp duty when moving to an apartment, villa, townhouse or another house. Stamp duty is usually not payable when downsizers move into a retirement village or land lease community.

Granny flat incentive

Separately, the Tasmanian Government has announced incentives to help people build ancillary dwellings, such as granny flats or self-contained studios.

Tasmanian Housing Minister Roger Jaensch said the government would be introducing a streamlined ‘no permit required’ approvals pathway for landowners to construct ancillary dwellings.

“Ancillary dwellings allow home owners to accommodate changing family needs, and they also add value to the family home,” Mr Jaensch said.

“Importantly, they also provide a way to activate more housing supply in existing housing areas, providing another option for people seeking small, affordable accommodation close to services.

“To qualify as an ancillary dwelling, it must have a floor area of less than 60 square metres and share the existing service connections (water, sewage, electricity, gas, telecommunications).

“To encourage more landowners to think about constructing an ancillary dwelling, and also to help meet the demand for rental properties in our urban areas, the first 250 new ancillary dwellings that are made available for long-term rental for at least two years will receive a $10,000 payment.

"Ancillary dwellings may be used by the existing household, for short-stay accommodation or for long-term rental. The incentive payment will only be available for new dwellings made available for long term rental.

“We expect the program will open for applications by the end of April, with more information to be released in coming weeks, including details on how to apply.”

Comment from our CEO

Downsizing.com.au CEO Amanda Graham welcomed the increased stamp duty concession from the Tasmanian Government for downsizers.

“In announcing this extension, the Tasmanian Government acknowledges that downsizing provides a broader housing stock and affordability benefit, by freeing up the homes of empty nesters,” Ms Graham said. “Other States and Territories which don’t currently provide such a stamp duty concession - such as Queensland and New South Wales - can look at the Tasmanian model as a guide to what works.

“We know that downsizing delivers significant benefits to over 50s, including allowing them to move to a home which better suits their stage of life and circumstances and to move to new locations and into friendly communities.” 

Ms Graham said the granny flat announcement was also welcome and reflected the increasing importance that these types of dwellings would play delivering affordable housing for family members and tenants.

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