“It’s not a game changer from changing the entire market of NSW and I think it’s really just a first step. It seems that it’s done as much as they could self-funded way,” he said.
“This is almost like a natural experiment, they’ll get more real data out of this and I suspect that might give a bit more confidence if it works, to see if they could push the boundaries a little bit more.”
Thorpe said the debate around stamp duty reform had focused heavily on cost-of-living and its potential to reduce the size of a deposit needed for a house, but its true impact was far wider.
“This is really a productivity story. We make it hard for people to change locations … we don’t get the right sized property for where people are in their life-cycle. They’re the really big, long-term benefits,” he said.
Opposition Leader Chris Minns warned NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet would look to broaden the changes if he won next year’s election.
“We know that this is not the model that they hoped to implement in this budget, but if he’s re-elected in March, there’s no doubt that he’ll introduce a broad-based land tax on residential properties for every household in NSW,” he said.
The 6500 first home buyers expected to opt in to the new land tax each year will pay a $400 annual levy plus 0.3 per cent of the value of their land. First home buyers will continue to be eligible to apply for full stamp duty exemption for properties up to $650,000.
About $740 million will also be invested in a two-year trial for shared equity scheme to help nurses, teachers, and police officers enter the housing market.
Another $300 million will be spent on accelerating infrastructure projects that will enable more housing to be built in regional areas, while the government will also rezone parts of Sydney to spur development and fast track planning assessments.
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