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Changes to ‘Stamp’ duty exemptions & concessions for first home buyers

Lindsay McGregor, Avant Law - Partner, Head of Property

Thursday, 8 June 2023

house with gavel

Key takeaways

  • New South Wales has some of the highest housing prices in Australia.
  • The average house price in New South Wales is well above the national average making it challenging for many individuals and families to afford suitable housing.
  • The new State Government has therefore made some changes to the Duties Act 1997 in an attempt to address some of these affordability barriers.
  • The changes increase the threshold purchase price to be eligible for a duty exemption or concession, extend the time required to reside in the home to take advantage of those benefits and abolish the recently introduced First Home Buyers Choice (FHBC).

What are the changes?

From 1 July 2023 eligible First Home Buyers in NSW will:                                                                     

  • receive an exemption from transfer duty for the purchase of new and existing homes with a purchase price up to $800,000 (increased from $650,000);
  • receive a concessional rate of transfer duty for the purchase of new and existing homes with a purchase price of up to $1 million (increased from $800,000);
  • be required to reside in a home as the person’s principal place of residence within 12 months for a continuous period of at least 12 months to be eligible for a duty exemption or concession (increased from 6 months); and
  • be unable to access the choice to pay an annual property tax instead of duty under the FHBC scheme.

There have been no changes to the thresholds for the first-time buyers of vacant land which mean for them, no duty is payable on land valued at less than $350,000 and for land valued between $350,000 and $450,000 a concessional rate of duty will apply.

The FHBC was a scheme only recently introduced that allowed first home buyers a choice to pay an annual property tax or upfront stamp duty on properties with a purchase price up to $1.5 million.  Whilst anyone who has already taken advantage of this scheme will not be affected, from 1 July 2023 it will no longer be available to first home buyers.

How do you apply?

If you are eligible for first home buyers assistance, Avant Law can guide you through the application process and assist each step of the way.  This service is part of our standard offering if you usefor your conveyancing needs.

Eligibility criteria for the updated FHBAS

  • the contract date must be dated on or after 1 July 2023 and must be for the whole property
  • the buyer must be an individual (not a company or trust)
  • the buyer must be over 18 years old
  • the buyer and their spouse or partner, must never have owned or co-owned residential property in Australia
  • the buyer and their spouse or partner, must never have received an exemption or concession under this scheme
  • at least one of the first home buyers must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • the buyer must move into the home within 12 months after buying it and live there for at least 12 continuous months

We can help you

If you have any questions, or would like more information about how we can assist you or your practice, please call 1800 867 113, or to organise a confidential discussion at a time that suits you, please click here 

About the author

Lindsay McGregor

Lindsay McGregor is a lawyer and the Head of Property in our Avant Law team. He has been working in property related matters for over 20 years. He was previously a partner at a highly regarded national firm and has considerable experience in property transactions across Australia. He has previously acted for some of the country’s biggest property investors and developers and can use this experience to your advantage.


The information in this article does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of this content. The information in this article is current to 9 June 2023. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Legal practitioners employed by Avant Law Pty Limited are members of the scheme. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2023 

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