No change on stamp duty or FHB in NSW state budget, as decline in sales activity hits

NSW land tax revenues are up, but stamp duty on sales has fallen dramatically.

The annual land tax revenue from property investors was $148 million higher than the $3.68 billion forecast.

The land tax helped the NSW surplus for 2017-2018 coming in at $3.9 billion, buoyed by a gst boost.

But a slowdown in sales activity saw NSW stamp duty revenues $960 million lower than expected.

The stamp duty revenue will be $10.4 billion this financial year, down from the $11.46 billion forecast.

It was blamed on lower than expected growth in property sales and prices along with a “significant shift from investors toward first home buyers.”

The overall stamp duty revenue will be $5.5 billion lower over the three years to 2020-21.

“Despite  this our finances remain in excellent shape,” the NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.

The Treasury papers noted while the downturn was “significant in dollar terms, revenue growth has been strong for an extended period, and the downturn is moderate compared with historic variations.”

The budget papers noted stamp duty was “a highly volatile revenue source reflecting the underlying volatility of property transactions and prices.”

There was also a sharp fall in revenues from foreign investors revealed in the budget.

There was hope that the state budget would provide stamp duty relief or reform, but the Treasurer said he would prefer to support first time buying.