The West Australian

There are growing calls for targeted stamp duty relief to help home buyers “rightsize” amid the chronic housing shortage.

The Real Estate Institute of WA and the Urban Development Institute of WA have used pre-Budget submissions to lobby for better housing supply and affordability, as the State struggles with accommodation woes.

High levels of demand and severe rental shortages, combined with a lack of materials and skilled workers and a growing population, have created one of WA’s worst housing crises.

REIWA president Damian Collins said a $10,000 residential stamp duty concession for people aged 65 and over would help unlock large homes that had become too big for their needs.

He said empty-nesters considered the impost a deterrent to moving to a smaller property, either because they could not raise the funds or were reluctant to dip into retirement savings.

He said Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT and Northern Territory had already introduced concessions for seniors, so it was “not a radical idea”.

“This would free up housing stock and assist with mobility across the entire market,” Mr Collins said.

But he is not just targeting seniors. Mr Collins also wants the first-homeowner stamp duty-free thresholds to be lifted from $430,000 to $530,000, to help entry-level buyers into appropriate homes for their growing families.

UDIA chief executive Tanya Steinbeck said the housing supply had been affected by the construction boom ignited in 2020 by the State and Federal housing stimulus measures. She called for a full review of land tax and stamp duty.

A State Government spokeswoman acknowledged “significant challenges for housing construction right across the country” and pointed to its $2.1 billion worth of investment in social housing to help get homes built quickly.