Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

NSW stamp receipts shatter all-comers records (Ausgrid)

Stamp mania

With a record construction boom and rising Sydney dwelling prices, it shouldn't be a surprise that stamp duty and transfers paid rose to record highs in FY2016.

In fact, the NSW state budget surged into a massive $4.7 billion surplus in 2015-16.

This result was miles ahead of forecasts and left the state government with net debt of less than zero.

Yep, the state government moved into a cash positive position for the first time ever.  

To complete the virtuous circle, billions of these funds need to be rolled into urgently required infrastructure projects, not least to plug the hole in the economy that will be left by declining housing construction from 2018 forth. 

Although there was all of the usual carping about the NSW budget - which had forecast that stamp duty receipts would hold up in FY2017 - what the critics failed to calculate is that Sydney is the midst of a construction boom combined with asset sales (the folly of analysts believing they are smarter than market insiders and public company CEOs, despite asymmetric information).

The number of transactions jumped to above 25,000 in November, and total receipts seared to an unprecedented $1.78 billion in the month.

Just to put that number in context, the prior year equivalent figure was only $729 million, and the previous record for any individual month was just $1.2 billion.

The November number is so much higher than the prior year that it seemingly defies logic, although there had been a change in purchase duties for non-residents, and then there was the $16 billion Ausgrid sale.

No surprises then that the YTD budget has been blown out of the water, with annualised receipts rising to $9.3 billion by December, thereby tripling the levels seen at the beginning of the decade. 


Plenty more where this came from in 2017 as apartment completions hit the market (recall too that the 2016 NSW Budget introduced a 4 per cent surcharge purchaser duty on the acquisition of residential real estate by foreign persons from June 21, 2016.).

It's important to recognise that the record windfall represents a surge in pre-sold apartments rather than any recent increase in market liquidity.

What an extraordinary windfall for NSW, with excessively high property taxes now bankrolling the entire shebang.