CLOSE X

Register - if you don't have an account

Yes! Sign me up for Global Property Guide's fortnightly email newsletter.


Login - for registered users

Forgot Password?
Explore destinations
continent map couldn't be loaded Pacific Europe & Russia North America Latin America Asia Africa Middle East Caribbean

 


Financial Overview

Directory

Property Search

Global Statistics

Regional Statistics






Oct 10, 2014

Buying costs are moderate in Australia


How high are realtors’ and lawyers’ fees in Australia? What about other property purchase costs?

Transaction Costs

Who Pays?
Stamp Duty 1.25% - 6.75% buyer
Registration Fee 0.01% - 0.6% buyer
Conveyance Fees 0.5% - 2.00%
0.4% - 2.00%
buyer
seller
Real Estate Agent’s Fee 1.6% - 9.80% seller
Costs paid by buyer 1.76% - 9.35%
Costs paid by seller 2.0% - 11.80%
ROUNDTRIP TRANSACTION COSTS 3.76% - 21.15%
See Footnotes
Source: Global Property Guide

How difficult is the property purchase process in Australia?

The policy of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia in regards to residential real estate is an inward-looking, conservative one, to say the least. Acquisition of residential real estate by foreign nationals and corporations is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval. FIRB approval is not required by Australian citizens resident abroad, or for acquisitions in residential-zoned properties by foreign nationals holding permanent resident or “special category” visas (i.e. New Zealand citizens), or by foreign nationals purchasing with their Australian spouse as joint tenant.

Australia realestate housesPriority is given to foreign investment in areas that would directly increase housing stock. Not only would the quantity of the housing stock would be affected, it would also bring benefits to the local construction industry and their suppliers. The wariness of the government on foreign influx in developed residential real estate stems from a desire to avoid excess demand, create greater stability of housing prices as well as encourage the supply of new dwellings that would benefit Australians, whether through ownership or lease.

Since government approval is obligatory in acquiring residential real estate in Australia, it is inadvisable to sign a contract before securing approval from the FIRB, unless the contract allows for a grace period for securing government approval, prior to completion.

Buying property involves the following steps:

  1. The seller must secure a title search, plans, easements and covenants recorded in title from the Land and Property Information department. These documents must be attached to the Contract of Sale.
  2. The seller should also secure a Zoning Certificate from the Municipal Council as well as Drainage Diagram from the Local Water Authority.
  3. The solicitor for the buyer must then prepare a transfer form (given that there are no outstanding interests in the property) for execution of the sale.
  4. The contract and transfer form must then be sent to the Office of State Revenue, where it is stamped and duties settled.
  5. The transfer form and certificate of title are then sent to the Land and Property Information Department for registration.





Footnote to Transaction Costs Table

The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property – lawyers’ fees, notaries’ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents’ fees, etc.

Stamp Duty:
Stamp duty depends on the value of the property and follows a sliding scale. Stamp duty is paid by the buyer when the contract is sent to Office of State Revenue. If the contract is not stamped within 3 months, an exchange penalty is due on the amount of stamp duty payable at the rate of 12.78% per year.

For easier reference, the Sunday Morning Herald has an online stamp duty calculator.
http://www.smh.com.au/business/money/tools/tax/stampduty.html

Stamp duty on property transfers varies by State, thus:

VALUE OF THE PROPERTY, AU$

DUTIABLE VALUE, AU$ (US$) MARGINAL STAMP DUTY RATE
New South Wales (Sydney)
Up to 14,000 (US$12,173) 1.25%
14,000 – 30,000 (US$27,087) 1.5% on band over US$12,173
30,000 – 80,000 (US$69,565) 1.75% on band over US$27,087
80,000 – 300,000 (US$260,870) 3.5% on band over US$69,565
300,000 – 1,000,000 (US$869,565) 4.5% on band over $260,870
1,000,000 – 3,000,000 (US$2,608,696) 5.5% on band over US$869,565
Over 3,000,000 (US$2,608,696) 7% on all value over US$2,608,696
Australian Capital Territory (Canberra)
Up to 100,000 (US$86,957) 2%
100,000 – 200,000 (US$173,913) 3.5% on band over US$86,957
200,000 – 300,000 (US$260,870) 4% on band over US$173,913
300,000 – 500,000 (US$434,783) 5.5% on band over US$260,870
500,000 – 1,000,000 (US$869,565) 5.75% on band over US$434,783
Over 1,000,000 (US$869,565) 6.75% on all value over US$869,565
Victoria
Up to 25,000 (US$21,739) 1.4%
25,000 – 130,000 (US$113,043) 2.4% on band over US$21,739
130,000 – 440,000 (US$382,609) 5% on band over US$113,043
440,000 – 550,000 (US$478,261) 6% on band over US$382,609
550,000 – 960,000 (US$834,783) 6% on band over US$478,261
Over 960,000 (US$834,783) 5.5% on all value over US$834,783
Queensland
Up to 5,000 (US$4,348) 0%
5,000 – 105,000 (US$91,304) 1.5% on band over US$4,348
105,000 – 480,000 (US$417,391) 3.5% on band over US$91,304
480,000 – 980,000 (US$852,174) 4.5% on band over US$417,391
Over 980,000 (US$852,174) 5.25% on all value over US$852,174
South Australia
Up to 12,000 (US$10,435) 1%
12,000 – 30,000 (US$26,087) 2% on band over US$10,435
30,000 – 50,000 (US$43,478) 3% on band over US$26,087
50,000 – 100,000 (US$86,957) 3.5% on band over US$43,478
100,000 – 200,000 (US$173,913) 4% on band over US$86,957
200,000 – 250,000 (US$217,391) 4.25% on band over US$173,913
250,000 – 300,000 (US$260,870) 4.75% on band over US$217,391
300,000 – 500,000 (US$434,783) 5% on band over US$260,870
Over 500,000 (US$434,693) 5.5% on all value over US$434,690
Western Australia
Up to 120,000 (US$104,348) 1.9%
120,000 – 150,000 (US$130,435) 2.85% on band over US$104,348
150,000 – 360,000 (US$313,043) 3.8% on band over US$130,435
360,000 – 725,000 (US$630,435) 4.75% on band over US$313,043
Over 725,000 (US$630,435) 5.15% on all value over US$630,435
Tasmania
Up to 1,300 (US$1,130) AUD20 (US$21)
1,300 – 10,000 (US$8,696) 1.5% on band over US$1,130
10,000 – 30,000 (US$26,087) 2% on band over US$8,696
30,000 – 75,000 (US$65,217) 2.5% on band over US$26,087
75,000 – 150,000 (US$130,435) 3% on band over US$65,217
150,000 – 225,000 (US$195,652) 3.5% on band over US$130,435
Over 225,000 (US$195,652) 4% on all value over US$295,652
Northern Territory
Up to 525,000 (US$456,522)

(0.065 x V2) +
21V where V = property value/ 1,000

525,000 – 3,000,000 (US$2,608,696) 4.95% on band over US$456,652
Over 3,000,000 (US$2,608,969) 5.45% on all value over US$2,608,696
Source: Global Property Guide

Registration Fee:
Paid to the Land Titles Office (in NSW and NT), this fee is for the transfer of ownership to the buyer. It varies from state to state, with certain states imposing a fixed fee while others impose a variable fee based on the purchase price. The solicitor or conveyancer typically pays this on behalf of the buyer. The registration fee is paid to the Department of Natural Resources in Queensland or Department of Land Administration in Western Australia.

In New South Wales, registration fee is AUD75 (US$65) regardless of size or value of property. In South Australia, registration fee for properties worth above AUD40,000 (US$34,783) is AUD194 (US$169) plus 0.6% of value above AUD50,000 (US$43,478).

Conveyance Fee:
Solicitor’s or Conveyancer’s fees are paid for the documentation necessary for a property purchase. Property conveyance can be done by a solicitor (lawyer), a conveyancer (a land broker, land agent or settlement agent), or even the buyer and the seller. In the Canberra, Queensland and Tasmania, solicitors have a monopoly on conveyance, while in Victoria a conveyancer must work with a solicitor. In other states, the parties are free to choose.

Solicitor´s fee are generally negotiable and can be a fixed amount, an hourly rate (with or without ceiling), or a percentage of the property value (typically around 1% to 2%). GST is always paid, thus, it is worth asking if the fixed fee is already inclusive of the GST.

Some lenders provide property conveyance as a free service to borrowers. Separate conveyance fees are usually paid by both the buyer and the seller (in some states the buyer’s costs are higher, as there’s more work involved).

Real Estate Agent’s Fee
Except for Queensland, real estate agent´s fee is negotiable in all states.


REAL ESTATE AGENT´S FEE

Property Location Rate in Main Cities Rate in Suburbs
New South Wales 2% - 2.5% 2.5% - 3.5%
Australian Capital Territory 2.5% 2.5% - 4%
Victoria 1.6% - 2.5% 2.5% - 3%
South Australia 2% - 2.75% 2.75% - 3%
Western Australia 3 - 3.25%
New Territories 2.5% - 4%
Source: Global Property Guide

Agent´s commission in Queensland is set by the government at a maximum of 5% of the first AUD18,000 (US$15,652) of the sale price and 2.5% of the balance of the sale price (plus 10% GST).

In Tasmania, real estate agent’s fee is freely negotiable, nevertheless, the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania recommends the schedule below (inclusive of GST, as of July 2007).


TASMANIA: REAL ESTATE AGENT´S COMMISSION

PROPERTY VALUE, AU$ (US$) RATE
Up to 10,000 (US$8,696) 9.81%, minimum of AUD100 (US$87)
10,000 - 50,000 (US$43,478) 5.35% on band over US$8,696
50,000 - 100,000 (US$86,957) 3.75% on band US$43,478
Over 100,000 (US$86,957) 3.55% on all value over US$86,957
Source: Global Property Guide





Comments


Be the first to comment on this article!



Login or Register to submit a comment!

In order to promote open and spam-free conversations, Global Property Guide moderates commetns on all articles. You can expect that your comment will be published within 24 hours.



Compare Countries



Free Newsletter

Fortnightly updates from the global property arena directly to your inbox.


Email Address:





Connect to professional advice in Australia





PROPERTY RECOMMENDATIONS

 
Download free Global Property Guide reports

Our Newsletter

 
Fortnightly updates from the global property arena directly to your inbox.

Manage subscriptions
Chinese property buyers and Asian buyers, there is great property for high net worth Chinese buyers on Juwai.com

Which parts of the world are most attractive for property investment today?

Click here to download our FREE Property Recommendations Reports!

Close Me