There has been extensive coverage in recent times of the various bonuses and concessions that are available to first home buyers, for both newly constructed and existing properties. In NSW these benefits include State and Federal Government grants as well as stamp duty concessions from the State Government.

In an effort to further stimulate construction and industry related business and employment opportunities the NSW Government has announced that they are now introducing significant stamp duty concessions on the purchase of all new homes by those who are not first home buyers.

Under this new scheme which is entitled the NSW Housing Construction Acceleration Plan (HCAP) new home purchasers may be eligible for a 50 percent reduction in payable duty on properties that do not exceed $600,000 in value.

A “home” is defined as a building that may lawfully be used as a place of residence and is in the Chief Commissioner’s opinion, a suitable building for use as a place of residence. Further to that, a new home is said to be a home that has not previously been occupied or sold as a place of residence, and includes a substantially renovated home.

In order to be eligible to submit a HCAP application agreements for the sale or transfer of a new home must be entered into after and including 1 July 2009 and before 1 January 2010.

Agreements for the sale or transfer are generally considered to be eligible if the new home is complete and ready for occupation or if the agreement is for the sale or transfer of land on which the new home will be built before the completion of the sale or transfer, known as an off the plan purchase. There are further date restrictions that apply to off the plan agreements in order to determine eligibility.

Whilst new units, new apartments and off the plan agreements are eligible under HCAP some other agreements and situations are not. For example, purchasers who enter into a comprehensive home building contract are not eligible for the concession under HCAP as according to the Duties Act 1997 these types of contracts do not attract payable duty. Similarly, owner/builders are also not eligible to under HCAP as they are not liable for duty under the Duties Act 1997 either. HCAP does also not apply to the purchase of vacant land.

Additional items to note in regards to eligibility criteria includes: there is no limit to the number of homes that a person can claim under HCAP; there is no age limits for applicants of HCAP; there is no requirement for a purchaser to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident; and, applications are not restricted to natural persons.

The below table indicates the approximate amounts of stamp duty that can be saved if your new home purchase is eligible under HCAP.

Purchase price ($)

Usual duty ($)

HCAP duty ($)

Savings ($)

250 000

7 240

3 620

3 620

300 000

8 990

4 495

4 495

350 000

11 240

5 620

5 620

400 000

13 490

6 745

6 745

450 000

15 740

7 870

7 870

500 000

17 990

8 995

8 995

550 000

20 240

10 120

10 120

600 000

22 490

11 245

11 245

As you can see, if your purchase is eligible there can be considerable savings on your new home purchase, more cash in your pocket and less for the tax man!

As with most Government concessional schemes the eligibility criteria can be quite complex to navigate making it difficult to understand whether or not you are actually eligible. Contact the lawyers at The Quinn Group to ensure that you are maximizing your savings when buying a new home. Whether you are a first or existing homebuyer we are able to assist with all of your contract and Conveyancing needs as well as advise on any concessions that you may be eligible for. Call us now on 1300 QUINNS or click here to submit an online enquiry.

Enquire today and we will get back to you next business day.