Under the changes, stamp duty will be waived for first home owners purchasing a property under $700,000, up from the current threshold of $500,000.

There'll also be concessions for homes valued up to $800,000.

At the same time, the duty-free threshold for vacant land will be increased to $350,000 from $250,000 with the concession phasing out on land values up to $500,000.

It comes after home and values have surged almost 40% nationally in the four years since the pandemic, seeing state governments reap huge windfalls in stamp duty revenue.

The current threshold has also remained unchanged for around a decade.

The Queensland government estimates the changes will support around 10,000 buyers a year in owning their first homes.

There has been an uptick in first home buyers in the Sunshine State, with 7,016 loans written to first home buyers in the first four months of 2024, according to ABS lending data; this is compared to 6,748 compared to the first four months of 2023.

This is despite Brisbane overtaking the ACT and Melbourne in recent months to become the second-most expensive capital city to buy a home.

This also follows South Australia abolishing stamp duty entirely for new builds for first home buyers.

See also: Queensland first home buyer grants explained

"Modest" change

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland had been agitating for the thresholds to be raised for the past couple of years, calling for the first home buyer concession threshold to be lifted to $750,000 to better reflect current property prices.

REIQ chief Antonia Mercorella welcomed the changes, saying the $700,000 threshold is still "a little bit modest" but a starting point.

Stamp duty, or transfer duty, is calculated on the percentage of a property value and can add tens of thousands of dollars to the purchase of a home.

Land tax increase for foreign investors

To offset the loss of revenue, the Queensland government is lifting the land tax surcharge for foreign investors to 3%.

Queensland's foreign investor surcharge will still be lower than both New South Wales and Victoria at 4%.

As well, stamp duty charges for foreign buyers will increase to 8% in line with both New South Wales and Victoria.

The stamp duty changes are the latest pre-election sweetener for Queenslanders who are due to go to the polls in October, along with:

The measures will be part of the Queensland Budget due to be handed down on Tuesday.

Image by Vitaly Gariev on Unsplash

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