How to calculate stamp duty before you buy

By Lauren Leisk, Yahoo7 Moneyhound Updated February 5, 2013, 8:00 am

Stamp duty costs depend on where you buy and if you're a first home buyer.

Saving some extra deposit is the initial step towards getting ahead in the first property game.

Knowing what to expect when it comes to fees and charges is step two.

And no fees hit Australians home buyers harder than stamp duty.

Preparing to tackle these extra charges ahead of time can mean bolstering your savings accordingly and even considering your property based on the best concessions available.

Taking into account the impact of stamp duty and other fees could see you secure the type of home you want with a mortgage that works for you at the same time.

Related: What is a split rate home loan?

Constant changes to legislation may be confusing for first home owners, but one of the must-know points about stamp duty is the current rate that applies to you. How much can you expect to fork out?

Doing the sums on stamp duty

Let’s say you are buying a $350,000 house and you have a 10 per cent deposit of $35,000. The total duty payable takes into account your mortgage registration fee, transfer fee and duty on the property. The state-by-state breakdown looks like this:

NSW: $11,546
SA: $16,349
TAS: $12,246
ACT: $343 or $11,248 for non-first home buyer
VIC: $12,190 or $14,964 for non-first home buyer
QLD: $793 or $4,293 for non-first home buyer
WA: $390 or $11,125 for non-first home buyer
NT: $218 or $13,518 for non-first home buyer

Calculate your own purchase fees with Yahoo7 Finance's stamp duty calculator, or this one for first home buyers.

What does stamp duty mean?

In the scheme of a $350,000 purchase, even the $16,349 payable in SA might not seem like a lot. However, when you consider it against your deposit purchase it is almost 50 per cent of what you have managed to save.

In QLD, ACT, WA and NT the benefits of the savings on stamp duty concessions are obvious. The $350,000 NT buyers currently save $13,300 just by being a first home buyer.

How do other states save on stamp duty?

Schemes to encourage first home buyers do exist in other states. For example, concessions in SA mean those who qualify for an off-the-plan apartment concession will have $0 duty to pay.

In VIC, a duty reduction of 50 per cent is being phased in over the next few years with a 20 per cent reduction now in place, a further 10 per cent coming in January 2013 and again in January 2014 and September 2014.

Some NSW home buyers may benefit from exemptions from duty of up to $17,990 on new homes and substantially renovated homes. When added to available first home grants, your benefits could add up to $41,990.

Related: Beginner’s guide to an investment property

Duty concessions are usually put in place to encourage purchases from first home buyers and stimulate growth in certain areas. However, using calculators to be aware of he full cost of stamp duty and the impact of current concessions could also see you making the best choice for your own future.

Once you've calculated how much you're up for in stamp duty, factor that into your home loan borrowing amount and find the lowest rate home loans now at Moneyhound.

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