What are the differences between buying property in Queensland and New South Wales?

The southern Gold Coast and Tweed region is in the special position of straddling two states.

This means buyers should be aware of some differences that apply with stamp duty and contracts of sale, whether purchasing in Queensland or New South Wales.

We recently looked at stamp duty in our previous blog, noting the states have different duty structures and exemptions and concessions for first home buyers.

In Queensland, a contract of sale is exchanged once it is signed and dated by both parties, but usually remains conditional for a period of 21 days while the buyer obtains building and pest reports.

It is the buyer’s responsibility to conduct title and other searches to ensure they are satisfied with the property.

Contracts of sale in NSW do not contain standard building inspection or finance clauses, however a buyer may have termination rights if the seller fails to make certain disclosures.

A cooling off period of five business days applies to most contracts of sale in both Queensland and New South Wales.

The contract becomes unconditional in Queensland once the buyer obtains formal loan approval and is satisfied with building and pest reports and any other searches.

In Queensland, settlement of the property must be made by the date specified in the contract of sale.

But in NSW, the contract is not immediately terminated if settlement is not reached on the agreed date.


‘Til next month…

Jason Abbott – Principal Coolangatta/Tweed


Stamp Duty

IF you are in the market to buy a new home, chances are you have heard about stamp duty.

But do you really know what it means? And, most importantly, how much you will have to pay?

For many of us, stamp duty becomes an after-thought as we focus on the exciting business of finding our dream home.

But it is vital to consider stamp duty when budgeting for your property purchase – or risk facing a last-minute scramble to come up with the extra cash, right when you should be celebrating your new property purchase.

Stamp duty, or transfer duty as it is also known, is simply a tax or levy imposed by all state and territory governments on certain transactions, including the sale of property.

The rate payable is determined by either the value of the property or the purchase price (whichever is higher), with a more expensive property attracting a higher rate of stamp duty.

The purchaser must pay stamp duty within 30 days of property settlement.

Not so simple – each state or territory has a different duty structure, with various exemptions and concessions available for first home buyers.

In NSW, eligible first home buyers are exempt from transfer duty on homes valued up to $650,000, with concessions available for homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.

Eligible purchasers buying vacant land valued up to $350,000 are also exempt from stamp duty, with concessions for vacant land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.

In Queensland, eligible first home buyers are exempt from stamp duty when purchasing a home valued up to $500,000, with concessions available for homes valued between $500,000 and $550,000.

Eligible first home buyers purchasing vacant land valued up to $250,000 are also exempt.

A First Home Owners Grant is also available in both states to eligible purchasers who are building or buying a brand new home.

We recommend consulting your state revenue office for more information on eligibility for concessions, and to calculate how much stamp duty you can expect to pay, so you can avoid any nasty surprises come settlement time.


‘Til next month…

Jason Abbott – Principal Coolangatta/Tweed


First home buyers can finally breathe a collective sigh of relief, as central measures introduced to address soaring property prices in Australia begin to take effect.

The recent release of PRD’s annual Australian Economic and Property Report sheds light on the issue of housing affordability, which continues to be a hot topic in the media as well as on the lips of politicians and property industry professionals.

The report goes some way to evaluate the effectiveness of the new policies that have been introduced by various government, banking and regulative authorities, with the purpose of creating a more even playing field for owner-occupiers, and more specifically, for first home buyers.

APRA led the charge to address concerns related to foreign buyers and investors, through changes to bank lending policies that reduced credit availability to investors and fixed interest borrowers.

We are now starting to see some impact from these measures, introduced in 2016, with the Home Loan Affordability indicator increasing by 4.5 per cent across Australia over the past 12 months to March 2017.

The report is great news for first home buyers, especially since the 2017 Federal Budget introduced a range of tools specifically catering for this group of property buyers.

The property market has now entered a period of slower growth, particularly in the previously overheated markets of Sydney and Melbourne.

Interestingly though, the new regulatory landscape that has dampened growth in capital cities and metropolitan areas has delivered a boost to regional markets, including the Tweed.

In fact, all states experienced positive growth in regional areas in the first half of 2017, with average growth over the first half of 2017 coming in at 4.5 per cent – markedly higher than in capital cities (2.8 per cent) and metropolitan areas (0.7 per cent).

This reflects increasing consumer confidence in regional markets, with Federal and State governments both acting to increase their commitment to regional infrastructure developments.

New tax cuts for small business are expected to drive local commercial activity in these regional areas further, creating employment and increasing livability.

Now in its tenth year, the Australian Economic and Property Report continues to be an important resource for those wishing to keep informed on key market trends.


‘Til next month…

Jason Abbott – Principal Coolangatta/Tweed

Stamp Duty changes broaden options for First Home Buyers

The NSW Government has opened the door to more first home buyers across the Tweed and throughout the state by abolishing stamp duty on their purchase of new and existing homes valued up to $650,000.

Previously, first-time purchasers could only claim the stamp duty exemption if they were buying or building a new house worth up to $550,000.

Effective July 1, this broadening of the exemption is important for prospective first home buyers in the Tweed region for two reasons; there’s not a significant amount of new home building occurring across the area, and most of the new stock that is hitting the market here isn’t within their budget.

So, those wanting to get the most out of their first-time buyer status can now look at a far wider choice of homes or apartments and save anywhere between $8,000 to almost $27,000 on stamp duty, which is about six months’ worth of savings.

In a further boost to their dream of home ownership, the government has also removed stamp duty on the lender’s mortgage insurance, which is a handy additional saving for those with smaller deposits.

As a result, we’re already seeing more interest from first-time buyers, and I’m expecting to see more activity coming in from Queensland, with Gold Coast buyers attracted not only by these stamp duty changes but the more affordable housing options just south of the border.

The news isn’t so good for foreign investors who are helping to pay for these initiatives by having their stamp duty obligation doubled to eight percent and paying an extra two percent in land tax.

I can’t see this having a dramatic effect on the Tweed market as we don’t have a significant presence of foreign investors; I think it’s aimed at cooling the temperature of the Sydney market more than anything.


‘Til next month…

Jason Abbott – Principal Coolangatta/Tweed


Federal Budget measures that may boost the housing supply in our region

I’ve spoken previously about tightening housing supply in our region, especially new homes and apartments, and I’m pleased to see measures in the Federal Budget that may help to ease this situation.

On the affordable housing front, the Government is providing more incentive for investors who choose to park their money in this section of the market.

From July 1 next year, people investing in quality affordable housing will receive an additional 10 per cent capital gains tax discount, bringing it to 60 per cent. They will also have greater income certainty, with the Government allowing the direct deduction of rent from tenants’ welfare payments.

Another win for this sector is that managed investment trusts are now allowed to develop and own affordable housing, which is likely to see more of these schemes acquiring sites for the development of these projects.

Something that may bring more existing properties onto the market, and further drive the downsizing trend, is allowing people over 65 to make a non-concessional (post tax) super fund contribution of up to $300,000 from the sale of their family home. For a couple that’s a whopping $600,000!

This is expected to bring an additional 50,000 family homes to the market across Australia, helping the supply side of the property equation, while allowing older Australians to boost their retirement savings.

An interesting announcement that may deliver more development sites to the Tweed and southern Gold Coast is the setting up of a Commonwealth Government Land Registry from December 1, 2017.

The online registry will map the locations of Federal Government sites, potentially unlocking land that is dormant or under-utilised and seeing it used for housing development.

I’m sure that investors, developers and project marketers will find this useful for identifying potential infill development sites.

Hopefully, some or all of these measures will trickle down to our neck of the woods and bring more houses and apartments to a market where demand is strong.

‘Til next month…


Jason Abbott – Principal Coolangatta/Tweed

Key Economic Indicators Infographic Q2 2017

PRDnationwide’s latest release, Key Economic Indicators Infographic Q2 2017 provides economic insights and highlights property industry trends.

Informing consumers with a quick snapshot of the current state of affairs the PRDnationwide Key Economic Indicators cover both national and state level data, comprising of:

  • First Home Buyer Loans
  • Home loan affordability index
  • Number of dwelling approvals
  • Consumer sentiment index
  • Standard variable loan
  • Consumer price inflation index
  • Unemployment rate
  • Weekly family income
  • Nett migration

PRD Key Economic Indicators stats

Consumer sentiment is a key indication of the general population’s confidence in the economy, whereby an increasing sentiment suggests consumers are more willing to spend rather than save. Consumer sentiment has remained under the positive line (100 index points) in May 2017, currently at 99 index points, suggesting there is cautiousness in the market. This is despite the RBA keeping the cash rate stable, which is reflected in the standard variable loan remaining constant at 5.3%.

Click here to get the full report


Budget 2017 – Property Impact White Paper

The Federal Budget 2017 was announced on Tuesday 9th May, with Treasurer Scott Morrison estimating the real growth in the Australian economy will rebound to 3% over the next two years and that the budget will reach a surplus of $7.4bn by 2020-21. Wage growth is also expected to increase from 2% to above 3% over the next four years.

The Budget 2017 addressed a multitude of issues including, but not limited to: infrastructure, banking levy, foreign investment, housing affordability, company tax cuts and small business incentives, changes to the medicare levy, and others.

For our business we need to be aware of measures which have a direct and indirect impact on the property market, as well as measures that will have an impact on business.

For a full analysis of the Federal Budget 2017 click here.

Kind Regards,
Dr Diaswati (Asti) Mardiasmo

National Research Manager

Tweed Market Value Ripe for First-Home Buyers and Investors

Despite a lot of chatter about housing bubbles and soaring property prices in Australia, there are still pockets of great real estate value and opportunity to be found in our spectacular coastal region.

The Tweed Heads area – taking in areas such as Tweed Heads West, Tweed Heads South, Bilambil, Terranora and of course Tweed Heads itself – is shaping as a market that is attractive to first home buyers and investors.

Data from PRDNationwide Research shows median house and unit prices in the Tweed are significantly lower than those just across the border in the Gold Coast City Region.

While a unit on the Gold Coast will set you back around $400,000, apartment living in the Tweed Heads area comes in at around $350,000.

On the housing front, the median price north of the border is $610,000 while in the Tweed it’s $536,500.

It’s a considerable difference, especially for first-time buyers who can get on the property ladder while still enjoying the fantastic lifestyle, beaches and weather that bring so many people to the Gold Coast.

And purchasers are catching on, with average days on the market declining and the tightening of vendor discounting suggesting that competition is growing.

This comparative value and the consistently high demand for rentals across the Tweed area are appealing to local and out-of-town investors also.

Our research shows that Tweed rental properties are spending less time vacant and are attracting strong yields – 5.2 per cent for units and 5 per cent for houses – slightly higher than Gold Coast yields, and far better than anything a bank can currently offer.

This along with the area’s wafer-thin rental vacancy rate of 0.6 per cent and very limited supply of new dwellings, adds up to a healthy investment environment for investors.


Jason Abbott – Principal
PRDnationwide Coolangatta/Tweed

Top 10 Affordable Major Regional Areas

A new report from our PRDnationwide Research Team has shown that out-of-the box thinking has led to housing and growth options beyond the major capital markets as well as increasingly unaffordable metro regional markets.

To assist those seeking to find an affordable property, the report highlights regional areas across Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. These key areas identified, not only highlight price affordability but also solid fundamentals for sustainable growth.

PRDnationwide’s Top 10 Affordable Major Regional Areas Report just released covers the regions along the East Coast of Australia. The Top 10 Affordable Major Regional Areas have experienced high growth rates over the past 15 years.

In Queensland Toowoomba, Fraser Coast, and Ipswich were nominated. Over the past 15 years, to 2016, Toowoomba has averaged a 7.9% growth for houses and 8.4% for units, Fraser Coast averaged an annual growth rate of 7.2% for houses and 8.8% for units and Ipswich experienced an average annual growth rate of 9.8% for houses and 9.5% for units.

In New South Wales Tamworth, Maitland, Wagga Wagga, and City of Shoalhaven were nominated. Tamworth averaged an annual growth rate of 6.6% for houses and 5.8% for units, Maitland has seen an average annual growth of 7.4% for houses and 6.1% for units, City of Shoalhaven averaged an annual growth of 5.9% for house and 5.4% for units and Wagga Wagga has seen respective annual growth levels of 6.3% for houses and 5.8% for units over the past 15 years to 2016.

Ballarat, Greater Bendigo, and Shepparton in Victoria have also experienced high growth rates over the past 15 years to 2016. Ballarat has experienced an average annual growth rate of 6.5% for houses and 4.6% for units, Greater Bendigo averaged an annual growth rate of 6.8% for houses and 5.1% for units, and Shepparton had an average annual growth of 5.0% for houses and 3.2% for units.

The PRDnationwide Top 10 Affordable Major Regional Areas have experienced high growth rates over the past 15 years. It also identifies affordable regions that assist in the battle to enter the property market and combat the capital cities and metro regional markets that continue to see property price growth and inflation levels beyond the standard wage increase.

Download Top 10 Affordable Major Regional Areas Report

Source:  Tony Brasier, Chairman and Managing Director – PRDnationwide


Jason Abbott, Principal – PRDnationwide Coolangatta/Tweed


Strong Demand Outstripping our Meagre Supply Pipeline

While the property market on the Tweed and southern Gold Coast is the best I’ve seen it in eight years, the limited supply of new houses and apartments across the region looks unlikely to change any time soon.

The latest data from PRDNationwide Research reveals that there are only a few residential projects on the development horizon for the Tweed region in the short to medium term, as strong demand puts upward pressure on prices and the rental market tightens.

PRDNationwide’s development map for the Tweed Shire Region shows just there’s just four apartment or townhouse projects that are either under way or scheduled to start in 2017.

The most significant of these are the Fraser Cove Villas with 45 townhouses and a nine-storey apartment building comprising of 40 units earmarked for Florence Street in the Tweed Heads CBD.

Both projects are expected to start mid-year with completion due in late 2018 or early 2019.

On the housing front, the massive Cobaki and Kings Forest residential communities are still at the planning phase and any other new residential land that comes to the market is selling very quickly after its release.

Just over the border, we have The Iconic luxury apartment tower (98 units) under construction at Kirra and a proposal for the 29-level Hotel Komune that will incorporate 94 apartments overlooking Greenmount Beach.

The Iconic is reportedly close to a sell-out and the Greenmount tower is some time away and being beachfront, is more likely to be a luxury product, so there’s very little joy out there for the so-called ‘mum and dad’ investors looking for new apartments.

On the flipside, it’s pretty safe to say that this market is in no imminent danger of a housing or apartment glut.



Jason Abbott – PRDnationwide Coolangatta/Tweed