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

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

NSW stamp duty boom continues in 2017 where it left off

Stamp duty gift keeps giving

New South Wales stamp duty and land transfer receipts were back up to $9.4 billon over the year to January 2017.

The rolling annual number of transactions is down from previous heights, though remains high with so many apartments being constructed. 


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.

Yes, 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. 

Party continues

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 as much as any recent increase in market liquidity, as stock on market levels to date remain relatively low.

The number of transactions jumped to above 25,000 in November 2016, 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 had been only $729 million, and the previous record for any individual month was just $1.2 billion.

The November number was 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.

In January 2017 there were 17,473 transactions, a slightly lower figure than in the prior year.

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