Stamp duty exemption trial for first home buyers proposed by SA-BEST

12 March 2022

First home buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty under a two-year trial being proposed by SA-BEST as part of its building and construction wish list announced today. 

Master Builders Association former CEO and SA-BEST’s Upper House lead candidate, Ian Markos, said should the party hold the balance of power in the Legislative Council following the state election, it would demand the government also undertake a 12-month trial for investors building new homes - capped at the median price. 

SA-BEST would also push for a one-off waiver of stamp duty for aged pensioners who downsize to a smaller property. 

In a wide-ranging suite of new initiatives announced today as part of its building and construction policy, SA-BEST will also push for a $8000 grant with discounted stamp duty exemption for the construction of new homes in regions. 

Ian said home affordability was now the single biggest issue confronting young families and the great Australian dream of owning a home was “rapidly becoming a mirage”. 

“The great Australian dream may never be fulfilled by thousands of young South Australians with Adelaide’s median house price now at a record high $540,000,” Ian said. 

“With predictions the median price will increase by 20% over the next two years, many more people will be forced out of the market completely,” he said. 

“It will also create a new generation of renters with a ripple effect of causing more homelessness in our community. 

“To further help ease building cost pressures, SA-BEST will also actively pursue significant tax reforms including  a review of all fees and charges that add almost a third of the price of a new home build. 

“All these measures are designed to ensure the state’s crucial building and construction industry – one of the main drivers of the state’s economy and one of its biggest employers – remains robust, and vibrant and is able to continue to grow without being shackled by unnecessary costs and red tape.” 

Ian said SA-BEST will also move to toughen laws to stamp out dodgy builders by working closely with the industry to further protect consumers from cowboy operators. 

This could include bans and heavy penalties for builders found by courts to have deliberately traded insolvently and caused severe financial distress to their customers and suppliers through their collapse. 

Ian said in his experience while at the MBA and other sectors, the vast majority working in the building industry were highly reputable operators. 

“The multi-billion dollar building and construction industry relies on the confidence and trust of the public, but you only need one or two cowboys to come along to damage that reputation,” Ian said. 

“Buying and building a home is the single biggest investment a person or family can make, and unscrupulous operators with little or no experience or proper training in the industry cannot be allowed to get away with ruining lives, only to re-invent themselves somewhere else.” 

Other incentives include for builders to provide a percentage of new property builds for low-income earners in return for land tax breaks;  and for the government to release more Crown Land for social housing development. 

SA-BEST Housing and Social Inclusion spokesperson, Connie Bonaros, said: “While the sector is currently experiencing a resurgent growth because of the Federal Government’s Covid 19 pandemic initiative Homebuilder, a perfect storm is emerging. 

“This storm is a combination of rising inflation, materials shortages, shortages of skilled labour, and the prospect of interest rate rises with an unprecedented boom in the property market impacting on home affordability, all creating a rental and social housing crisis,” she said.e state needs to act now to prepare for the impending storm and SA-BEST believes the initiatives it has unveiled today will help strongly position the state for what lies ahead.

 

“It will also ensure more young South Australian families achieve the great Australian dream of buying – and eventually owning – their own homes.”

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