Calculating the costs of buying a property can be a daunting, expensive proposition. While most want to get their foot in the property-market door and achieve the great Australian dream of owning their own home, it isn’t always that simple. Lucky for you, our calculator can make it much easier for you.

Calculations are provided by VisionAbacus Pty Ltd ACN 140 627 765 (VisionAbacus). Whilst every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information as a guide for costing, no responsibility is accepted by VisionAbacus for its accuracy. Please check with a mortgage broker, accountant, financial advisor or other suitably qualified professional for an accurate estimate. Compare the Market Pty Ltd takes no responsibility for the calculations or information provided on this website by VisionAbacus nor any liability for the accuracy of or reliance upon or use of such calculations or information. Before deciding to purchase any product you should calculate the actual costs (as the calculators contain general information only and may not suit your particular circumstances) and read the relevant product terms and conditions. Calculations are not an offer of credit and don’t include any applicable fees.

How to use our property buying cost calculator

Our Property Buying Cost Calculator is a great tool to make sure you have covered the costs of buying a property. It provides an estimated property buying cost based on a summary of inputted costs and fees, in addition to the property’s sale price.

The costs of buying a home in Australia

The additional costs of buying a property (aside from the asking price) are split into three separate categories in the calculator and are calculated by adding all of the associated expenses, including:

  • Government charges: stamp duty, mortgage registration fees and transfer fees.
  • Lender fees: loan application fees, legal fees and lenders mortgage insurance (LMI).
  • Other costs: Home & contents insurance, solicitor & conveyancing fees, strata search fees, building, council and pest inspections, moving expenses, connecting utilities, land tax, etc.

Couple receiving house keys

Government charges owed when buying a property

Government charges must be considered when calculating the costs of purchasing a property. Our calculator will help you determine these charges and fees, which will vary between different states when buying a property.

Stamp duty on property

Stamp duty is a government imposed tax or levy that applies to the transfer of property between two owners, which is paid by the person buying the property. The stamp duty amount is determined by the value of the property, however, there are a number of other factors which may affect the cost of stamp duty, including:

  • The state or territory you live in (different rates for different states and territories);
  • State Government grants, concessions or exemptions (i.e. First Home Owner Grant, New Home Grant);
  • The type of purchaser you are (e.g. stamp duty substantially increases by an extra 3%-8% for foreign purchasers);
  • The type of property you purchase (new build, old home, vacant land);
  • The purpose of the property you are purchasing (primary residence or investment).

You can use Compare the Market’s Stamp Duty Calculator as a starting point to work out an estimate of how much stamp duty you could pay for your home loan.

Mortgage registration fee

The mortgage registration fee is a fee you pay when you register a mortgage to purchase a property. Mortgage registration fees will differ depending on your state or territory, and the fee is collected by The Land Titles Office in each state and territory.

The mortgage registration fee varies from around $117 to $187 in 2018, depending on which state you live in. If you input your details into our stamp duty calculator, you can get an estimation of what you could pay for your mortgage registration fee.

Transfer fee

Transfer registration fees are charged by the State Government to cover the administration of transferring the title of the land from the previous property owner to the new property owner. Transfer fee rates can greatly vary between states and territories. You can get an estimation of your transfer fee by using our stamp duty calculator.

Lender fees

Not many buyers have the money to purchase a house outright, so they will take out a home loan from a lender to finance the remainder of the purchase. Some of the fees that could apply are application or establishment fee, valuation fee, settlement fee and rate lock fee.

Below is an example of the fees that the lender might chargei.

Establishment FeesCost
Application Fee$150
Search Processing Fee$50 per search
Valuation FeeOn application
Document Preparation Fee$100-$600
Settlement Fee$100
Agent Lodgement Fee$125
Fixed Rate Lock Fee$600 + 0.15% of loan amount
Fixed Rate Lock Late Application Fee$250
Building Loan Fee$100 – Contract Builder, $200 – Owner Builder
Guarantee Administration Fee$150

Loan application fees

When comparing home loans, be sure to keep an eye out for your loan’s application fees (also known as loan establishment fees, up-front fees, start-up fees, or set-up fees). Loan application fees are a one-off payment when starting your loan and can vary depending on different lenders, mortgage brokers, home loan terms, rates, and deposit amounts. The total payable fee is generally made up of range of different fees, however, generally loan application fees can cost from 0.5% to 1% of the loan. Check with your lender for your particular loan application fees.

Legal fees

When buying a property, legal fees can include solicitor and conveyancing fees and property/title searches, and costs can vary depending on what your conveyancer or lawyer (solicitor) charges and which state you live. The following table shows average conveyancing fees in August 2018 for an existing property (not for a brand new property)ii.

Average Conveyancing Fees For Buying An Existing Property In Australia
LocationFixed professional legal feeStandard searchesAverage total estimate
Brisbane, QLD$850 – $950$350 – $500$1200 to $1450
Melbourne, VIC$600 – $700$270 – $350$870 – $1050
Sydney, NSW$750 – $1000$350 – $450$1100 – $1450
Hobart, TAS$700 – $800$350 – $400$1050 – $1200
Source: – A guide to conveyancing costs in Australia, last updated 07/08/2018

The NSW Government’s guide to the cost of home purchase suggests conveyancing fees can range anywhere from approximately $700 to $2,500iii, while many other websites estimate legal and conveyancing fees could cost around $1,800.
Boardwalk in Australia

Lenders mortgage insurance

The LMI premium is usually paid as an up-front, non-refundable payment as part of the settlement. Depending on how much you are borrowing, some lenders will allow you to add the premium into the loan, which you can repay over the term of your loan in your mortgage repayments, although it may cost more to spread it out over the term of the loan.

ANZ bank suggests that if your home loan is $500,000 and you have saved $50,000 for a deposit, LMI could roughly cost over $10,000iv. However, the amount does depend on your LVR and the amount of money being borrowed. Check with your lender for your particular LMI fee, if applicable.

Other buying costs

There can be a variety of other buying costs and fees that apply when buying a house, which might include:

  • Property interest report. Getting a property interest report helps homebuyers learn more about a property before they buy, such as information on any land use restrictions and more. According to Conveyancing Mattersv, in South Australia in 2017-18, a property interest report can generally cost $290 (excluding GST).
  • Strata inspection fee. This inspection is necessary when buying an apartment or unit that includes strata or body corporate fees and is an examination of written records of the owners’ corporation. It provides information about strata levies, general and extraordinary expenses and insurances. This fee is payable to the Body Corporate Manager and costs approximately $200 to $350, according to the NSW Government’s guide to the cost of home purchasevi.
  • Building/council inspection and pest inspection. Building and pest inspections will uncover any nasty surprises that might cost you later on. The NSW Government states the approximate cost of building inspections range from $300 to $700, and pest inspections from $200 to $350viii. The Queensland Government states that building and pest inspections together usually cost from $400 to $600 for a standard, 3 bedroom homevii.
  • Moving expenses. Moving fees will depend on the distance needed to move, how much furniture you have, and the mover or company’s rates; removalists can cost anywhere from $550 to $3,500, according to the NSW Governmentviii.
  • Connecting utilities. When moving house, rates will vary between providers and different professional services for connecting utilities like electricity, gas, water, sewerage, telephone and internet.
  • Land tax. This tax is paid to the state or territory government annually and its rate depends on the type of owner (e.g. an individual, trustee or company), whether any exemptions apply, and the total taxable value of land.
  • Council and water rates. After you’ve purchased the property, you will have to pay any council and water rates that are owing for the relevant quarter. Council rates may vary between different local councils, who charge this fee to raise revenue to provide services and infrastructure to the community.
  • Home and contents insurance. Prices will vary based on the type of insurance you hold, your insurer, property, location, security and more. Comparing home and contents insurance with Compare the Market could help you find insurance at an affordable price.

Our Property Buying Cost Calculator provides you with an estimated cost of additional charges and fees to add on top of your prospective property’s purchase price, helping you tailor your budget when it comes time for you to purchase a new property.

FAQS about buying property

Do I have to pay stamp duty?

Yes, stamp duty is applicable to all property purchases or transfers within Australia, however, there are exemptions and concessions that are available, depending on the state and territory you live in.

How do I get an exemption from paying full stamp duty?

You may be eligible for an exemption or concession to reduce the amount of stamp duty you will have to pay, if you fall within one of the concessions provided by the various states and territories. For example, some concessions apply if:

  • the value of the house you have purchased is less than the stamp duty threshold amount for your state;
  • you are a first home owner (some states will waive stamp duty);
  • you intend to live in the house and it’s not for investment; or
  • you are an eligible pensioner and health card holder who is downsizing to a new home in Victoria, Tasmania, or ACT (conditions apply).

Our calculators to make your life easier

Whether you need to crunch the numbers for your home loan repayments or income tax, we have a range of helpful calculators to suit your needs:



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