Big Changes in Queensland: A Win for First Home Buyers, Challenges for Foreign Property Owners:

Insights from HTW Gold Coast's Property Law Team

Exciting news for first home buyers in Queensland! New government measures will make purchasing a home more affordable by increasing transfer duty concessions. However, foreign property owners will face new challenges with increased taxes and duties beginning July 1, 2024. This dual approach aims to support local buyers while imposing stricter regulations on foreign investments. Read on to understand how these changes might impact you and what steps you can take to navigate them effectively.

Big Wins for First Home Buyers

Starting June 9, 2024, first-time home buyers in Queensland have much to look forward to. The government has rolled out new measures that make purchasing a first home more affordable than ever. 

Here’s a clear breakdown of the benefits:


No More Transfer Duty for Most First Homes:

- Homes up to $700,000: No transfer duty at all.
- Homes between $700,000 and $800,000: Partial concession available.
Previously, only homes valued at $500,000 or less were exempt from paying $8,750 in transfer duty. Now, first home buyers can enjoy significant savings on higher-priced properties.


Better Deals on Vacant Land:

- Land up to $350,000: No transfer duty.
- Land between $350,000 and $500,000: Partial concession available.
This is a substantial increase from the previous threshold of $250,000 for full exemptions.


Increased Savings:

- Maximum Concession for Homes: Up to $17,350.
- Maximum Concession for Vacant Land: Up to $10,675.


First Home Owner Grant Doubled:

In a temporary and retroactive doubling of the First Home Owner Grant from November 20, 2023 to June 30, 2025, the First Home Owner Grant will be doubled from $15,000 to $30,000, providing even more financial support to first-time buyers.


Positive Impact

These changes are expected to benefit around 10,000 first home buyers per year. Now is an excellent time to plan your home purchase and take advantage of these generous concessions and grants.

New Challenges for Foreign Property Owners

As first home buyers celebrate, overseas property investors in Queensland encounter new challenges from July 1, 2024, as the government raises taxes and duties affecting their investments.


Increased Land Tax Surcharge:

- new Surcharge Rate: 3% (up from 2%).
This surcharge applies to foreign companies, trustees of foreign trusts, and absentees, affecting all land types, including commercial and industrial properties. This is broader than the surcharges in New South Wales and Victoria, which primarily apply to residential land.


Higher Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty (AFAD):

-new AFAD Rate: 8% (up from 7%).
AFAD is an additional duty on top of regular transfer duties for foreign buyers of residential land. This increase will further raise the cost of property acquisition for foreign investors.

Potential Relief Options for Overseas Property Investors or Foreign Property Owners

Foreign property owners may qualify for ex-gratia relief from the surcharge if their business activities significantly contribute to Queensland’s economy. The Commissioner of State Revenue’s Public Ruling outlines the eligibility criteria for this relief.

Navigating the complexities of qualifying for ex-gratia relief can be challenging. At HTW Legal, we are fully aware of the intricacies involved and equipped to handle the process efficiently. Our experts can guide you through the eligibility criteria and application process to ensure you receive the relief you qualify for.


What Should You Do?

First Home Buyers: Take advantage of the increased concessions and grants to make your home purchase more affordable and contact HTW Legal to take care of the Property Law settlement.  With over 100+ positive 5 star reviews, you can trust the team take care of your first home purchase. 

Foreign Property Owners: Contact HTW Legal today to review your investments and explore potential relief options to mitigate the impact of increased surcharges and duties.

These changes present significant opportunities for first home buyers while introducing new challenges for foreign property owners. Stay informed and consult with HTW Legal to navigate these developments effectively.


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