Government taxes make up one third of Victorian home buyer costs

author-avatar By on July 27, 2020
Government taxes make up one third of Victorian home buyer costs

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

Victorian home buyers are handing up to a third of the purchase price of a new home to the government, a new report reveals.

Between 19-34% of the purchase price of a home in Victoria goes to government taxes and charges, according to a study released today by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA).

UDIA Victoria CEO, Danni Hunter said the research exposes how much Commonwealth, State and Local Government taxes, charges and levies contribute to the cost of new housing in Victoria.

“We’ve found that government charges can amount to over a whopping one-third of the purchase price of a new home or block of land in Victoria,” Hunter said.

“The large up-front cost then sits in the homebuyer’s mortgage, accumulating interest which adds even more to the amount they pay."

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for owner-occupiers.

The government taxes and charges included in the study are stamp duty, developer land tax, GST, foreign buyer surcharge on stamp duty, developer council rates, infrastructure contributions, growth area infrastructure contribution, open space levy, metropolitan planning levy and statutory utility charges.

A first home buyer purchasing a block of land for $200,000 would hand over $62,480 plus interest, or about 29% of the purchase price to government taxes and charges.

A couple with two kids buying a $315,000 block of land would hand over $106,314 plus interest, or about 34% of the purchase price in government charges.

A retired downsizer buying an off the plan apartment for $685,000 can expect to hand over $131,765 or 19% of the purchase price. 

The report also found that foreign buyers pay about 40% more on government taxes and charges. 

Ms Hunter said the report, the Hidden Cost of Housing debunks the theory that house prices are high because of developers. 

“The cost of government charges is significantly higher than the developer’s profit – a finding that disproves the view that home prices are high because developer profit margins are high, and shows that the developer cannot absorb all those taxes and charges either," Hunter said. 

Ms Hunter said home buyers need to be aware of these government costs.

“Homebuyers make an important contribution to city-building, vital infrastructure and amenities through government taxes and charges," Hunter said.

"But there is a cost to the high rate of government taxes and charges, and it’s important that homebuyers are informed about these costs and that government is held accountable for how they are spent and if they increase."

The report calls for a moratorium on new taxes and charges, tax reform, and a different approach to cutting planning and development approval red tape.

“We need targeted tax adjustments. Lower taxes would increase the volume of new home sales, which would ultimately achieve the same tax revenue for government, while making housing more affordable for Victorians.

“We must get real about the high cost of housing in this state. Every Victorian deserves suitable housing, which is affordable relative to their income. It is incumbent on the government to make housing affordable."


Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2019. They are (in descending order): Credit Union Australia, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.

Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

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author-avatar
Emma joined Savings.com.au as a Finance Journalist in 2019. She is a journalist with more than five years experience across print, broadcast and digital media, with previous stints at Style Magazines, 4ZZZ radio, and as editor of The Real Estate Conversation. She's most passionate about improving the financial literacy of young women and millennials by writing about complex financial topics in a way that's easy for the average Joe (or Jill) to understand. When she's not writing about finance she's watching Greys Anatomy (again).

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