The NSW Government now provides first home buyers purchasing properties for up to $1.5 million the ability to choose to pay an annual property tax instead of stamp duty. The property tax will only be payable by first home buyers who choose it, and will not apply to subsequent purchasers of a property.

This initiative will lower the up-front costs of home purchases and help to boost the rate of home ownership in NSW. With rising home prices, home ownership has declined from around 70 per cent in the 1990s to around 64 per cent today. The decline in home ownership has been particularly evident among younger and lower income groups.

The savings required to meet the up-front costs of a home purchase are an important barrier for many would-be purchasers. Removing the obligation to pay stamp duty will lower these up-front costs and cut up to two years off the time needed by many first home buyers to save for a home.

Existing stamp duty concessions for first home buyers are available for purchases of up to $800,000, and these concessions will continue. The property tax option will be available for properties for up to $1.5 million, helping a broader group to become first home buyers. In total, these measures will offer support to about 97 per cent of all first home buyers, or about 57,000 people per year.

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