The time to abolish stamp duties is now, says leading economist

by AB20 Mar 2013

It’s time to abolish stamp duties, says economist, Leith van Onselen.

Van Onselen says a ‘raft’ of new data has illustrated the sharp drop-off in housing transactions since mid-2010.

“First, the total number of home sales across Australia in 2012 was the lowest since 1996, according to RP Data. Second, the average holding period for Australian houses has risen substantially over the past decade, from 6.8 years ten years ago to 9.3 years currently, according to RP Data. And finally, the dwelling turnover rate, as measured by the RBA, has fallen to levels not seen since the early-1990s recession.”

He says the dramatic fall in housing transactions has ‘reaped havoc’ on state government finances, which tend to be highly reliant on stamp duties.

“In 2011-12, total receipts from property stamp duties were -20% below the peak levels of 2007-08, in spite of the solid gain in property values over that time period.

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