Tasmanian works recently hailed by the government as the ‘biggest planning reforms ever’ were greeted with scorn by the property development and construction industry, which said the state had walked away from reform altogether.
In South Australia, however, the situation could not provide any more of a contrast. A pre-budget commitment from the government regarding stamp duty concessions has been hailed as a ‘bold tax reform’ that will stimulate CBD residential development and construction and a 12-month extension to the state’s first home-owners bonus has also been welcomed.
In a pre-budget announcement the state government claims will save homebuyers more than $30,000 when other bonuses are factored in, the state government has announced that stamp duty will be either lowered or removed for apartments in the Adelaide CBD or in North Adelaide.
Under the new measures, stamp duty will be abolished over the for the next two years for people who buy an apartment off the plan for any amount less than $500,000, while properties valued over and above this level will get a capped concession.
The measures do not, however, apply outside of the CBD and those in North Adelaide and will be trimmed back after two years.
Property Council of Australia (SA) executive director Nathan Paine has greeted the ‘bold new tax reform’ with exuberance.
“I can’t overstate the significance of [Sunday's] announcement; what the Treasurer has delivered, in these fraught economic times, is a clear signal that they are willing to act for consumers, for the construction sector and for the state,” Paine says. “Demand for apartment and multi-level residential living products has been pent up by tax treatments that disadvantaged these products against house and land packages. By eliminating this disadvantage, the Treasurer has put apartments on a level playing field with house and land packages, which will unleash this demand.”.
Paine says he has no doubt the new measures will both encourage uptake of inner-city apartment living and improve conditions for potential investors in new apartment products in the city. This, in turn, would bolster efforts regarding inner-city population targets and provide ‘much needed’ stimulus to the construction sector.
The latest developments follows a further decision to grant a one-year extension to the $8,000 first-home owners grant, which was originally set to expire in July.