The cost of stamp duty in Australia and England compared.
We have already looked at the cost comparisons when buying a house in Australia compared with England, but what about the stamp duty? Which country is cheapest?
And the winner is…………
There, that was straight to the point wasn’t it? No big build up, no mounting tension, no moments of doubt spent wondering “Will it be the UK or would it be Australia?”
That’s because this has been the easiest and most straightforward cost comparison yet. If only they were all this easy. Why so simple?
Well, in England you will pay zero stamp duty on houses costing less than £175,000. But for houses costing more than that you will pay 1% up to £250,000, 3% on houses costing more than £250,000 but less than £500,000 and 4% on houses over £500,000.
When I bought my house in Brisbane, Queensland, which would have fallen into the 3% category in the UK, our total stamp duty amounted to something like 2.4%. So I have lived my charmed life in Australia assuming stamp duty to be cheaper here than in England, albeit not by much.
But if we had bought a house costing around $425,000 here, and there are plenty around, then our stamp duty would have dropped to around 1.6%. But in England that would have fallen into the under £250,000 category and attracted just 1% stamp duty.
So stamp duty here in Queensland is not much different to stamp duty back in the UK, in a swings and roundabouts kind of way. So why does England win?
Because the state of Queensland here in Australia is easily the cheapest state for stamp duty in the country. For the other states you are looking at around 3% to 4% stamp duty on houses that would have fallen into the 1% bracket in England and anything from nearly 4% to over 5% for houses in the UK’s 3% range.
So as it turns out, pretty much the only way I was ever going to pay less stamp duty here in Australia than I would have in England, was to buy a house in Queensland AND in the price range that I bought in.
So how lucky was I? And I never knew it until today!
So if you are considering moving to Australia and buying a house here, the cost of stamp duty state-by-state is, in my opinion, a consideration. It does also appear that Victoria may well be the most expensive state here.
Victoria is home to Australia’s most expensive private school and recently I discovered that their ambulance fees are more expensive than elsewhere. Now it appears they top the charts for stamp duty as well.
Take a look at this chart…..
Now compare it to the UK…..
And you can see for yourself. The UK is cheaper in every single category except one.
Not only are stamp duty fees more expensive in Australia, they are also far more complicated than the simple UK setup. Because of this there are many online stamp duty calculators available. As these rates are always subject to change, I strongly suggest you search for up to date information before you finalise your budget. From time to time and from state to state the government do also offer concessions and grants, especially to first time home buyers, so look out for those too.
The good news is that the grant seems to be available to first-time buyers even if you have only just emigrated to Australia. The down side is it must be the first house you have ever bought, ever, in the whole wide world. That’s how I understand it.
Worth looking into.