Nearly 70% of economists foresee stamp duty's demise

Over two-thirds of those polled predict the tax will be axed within the next 18 months

Nearly 70% of economists foresee stamp duty's demise


By Madison Utley

In a survey conducted by comparison site Finder, the commanding majority of experts and economists communicated they believe stamp duty could well and truly be on its way out as the country looks to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While others have voiced doubt that reform is near, acknowledging the significant revenue the duty generates for each state and questioning if that's something government would be willing to give up, more than two-thirds of Finder’s respondents (69%) foresee the tax being axed within the next 18 months, with most forecasting the change to take place in 2021.

Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder, compared the current stamp duty to “an on-the-spot fine for home buyers” that penalises families who are required to move regularly for work, as well as those who are trying to get on the property ladder. 

“Stamp duty makes the process of buying a home even harder,” Cooke said.

“Not only do borrowers have to save a 20% deposit, they also need to save well over $10,000 – in some cases more than $80,000 – for a tax that generally cannot be included in their mortgage. 

“Putting this tax burden all up front, holds back purchases and dissuades buyers from purchasing frequently.”

Of the same group of economists polled, 80% think stamp duty should be abolished or replaced with an ongoing land tax.

“As a borrower, investing that $10k-$80k in the value of your home rather than immediately losing it to the government will be a huge benefit,” said Cooke.

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