Tax incentives for downsizers will boost property market

by Julia Corderoy24 Nov 2015
Treasurer Scott Morrison’s bold tax incentives for retirees to downsize will help support the housing supply shortage, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW).

Morrison’s plan, which is set to be discussed in his next meeting with state and territory treasury ministers next month, would see a one-off exemption from stamp duty for retirees on the purchase of a smaller house.

REINSW president, Malcolm Gunning, said the association has been lobbying government to introduce a stamp duty concession for downsizers for some time. 

“We believe in supporting older Australians on the purchase of a smaller house on the basis that it frees up large homes that are being under-utilised,” Gunning said.

However, Gunning says the Treasurer should take the exemption even further.

“As part of our Real Tax Policy we recognise that NSW should broaden the senior citizens transfer stamp duty exemption by lowering the minimum age to 55 years and removing the 'new home' restriction and the purchase price cap,” he said.

“Many large houses are occupied by empty nesters. There should be incentives to encourage them to sell and buy more appropriate housing. This measure should also increase supply of larger homes in established suburbs, improve affordability and stimulate better use of existing infrastructure.

“We are pleased by reports that retirees have been put on the agenda for December talks between Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison and state and territory treasury ministers.”