Stamp duty, also known as transfer duty, is a tax charged on the ownership transfer of certain assets, including cars, intellectual property and, in this case, property. Stamp duty typically costs a property buyer thousands of dollars and is generally one of the more significant upfront costs involved in buying a home, often second only to the cost of the home itself.

Stamp duty and how it works

Don't quite understand stamp duty? You might want to watch this explainer from Selling Houses Australia host, Andrew Winter.

Exactly how much stamp duty you’ll have to pay on your property purchase will typically depend on several factors, including:

  • The dutiable value of the property
  • The state or territory you live in
  • Whether it will be your primary residence or an investment property
  • If you’re a foreign purchaser
  • Whether you’re eligible for any stamp duty concessions.

It’s typically not affected by property type, meaning you’ll generally pay the same amount whether you’re buying a standalone house or an apartment.

The calculator below can help you get an idea of what your stamp duty costs might be based on a given property value and your buying circumstances.

If you’d like to learn more about stamp duty before starting your calculations, read on to discover how stamp duty works around the country.

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is a type of tax imposed on house, vacant land and new build purchases by state and territory governments. Each state and territory has its own set of stamp duty rates and thresholds, as well as different grants, concessions and exemptions for eligible buyers.

How is stamp duty calculated?

Stamp duty is generally calculated using a set of purchase price thresholds, with each one charging a set base amount of stamp duty, plus an additional rate for any amount that exceeds the threshold. Stamp duty can also be offset by certain state-based concessions if you’re a first home buyer.

To calculate stamp duty, you’ll need to find your state’s stamp duty rates and the purchase price of the property you’re eyeing off. For the example below, we’ve used Queensland’s stamp duty rates for a house selling for $550,000, and assumed the buyer isn’t eligible for any stamp duty concessions or exemptions.

The calculations begin with Queensland’s stamp duty rate for properties sold for between $540,000 and $1,000,000, which is $17,325 plus $4.50 for every $100 (or part of $100) over $540,000.¹

  1. A stamp duty calculator will start with the difference between $550,000 and $540,000 ($10,000) and then divide that by $100. In our example, this equals 100.
  2. The next step is to multiply 100 by $4.50, giving us $450.
  3. The final step in calculating the stamp duty payable is to add $450 to the base rate ($17,325), giving us a final stamp duty amount of $17,775.

stamp duty calculator explained


Stamp duty costs in the states and territories

Want more specific information on how much stamp duty costs in a certain state or territory? We’ve got you covered, with our stamp duty guides for:

Keep in mind that not only will stamp duty thresholds and rates vary by state and territory, but so will concessions on offer for first home buyers. Some states and territories may offer generous stamp duty concessions to first home buyers, while some may not offer any incentives at all.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to pay stamp duty on a new home?

Stamp duty will typically apply to the sale of newly built homes, established homes and vacant land. However, if you’re buying vacant land with the intention of building a residential property on it, you’ll only pay stamp duty on the transfer of the land title.

If you’re buying a new home, you may be eligible for stamp duty concessions depending on your state or territory’s rules.

Do first home buyers pay stamp duty?

Parts of Australia have stamp duty exemptions and concessions for first home buyers on top of the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG). For example, Victorian first home buyers don’t pay stamp duty if the home’s purchase price is below $600,000, and receive a stamp duty concession on properties worth $600,001-$750,000.²

And in a nationwide first, the NSW Government has introduced a scheme called First Home Buyer Choice, which allows first home buyers to opt into paying an annual property tax instead of paying stamp duty.³

You can learn more about the different state-based concessions for first home buyers and stamp duty by reading the stamp duty guides for your state or territory listed above.

Who is stamp duty paid to?

Stamp duty is paid to the revenue office of your respective state or territory government. However, your lawyer or conveyancer will generally handle the actual payment on your behalf. Be sure to check this, however, as you may incur financial penalties if your stamp duty goes unpaid.

When do you have to pay stamp duty?

Stamp duty is typically paid either after the contract of sale is entered into or the purchase is approved and settled. You’ll generally have a time limit of 30 days to pay any applicable stamp duty; however, this varies depending on your state or territory.

For the vast majority of property transactions, stamp duty will typically be paid at settlement as part of the home loan settlement process. The notable exception is property transactions in which the buyer is making a cash purchase and does not require finance.

Can my stamp duty be added to my mortgage?

You’ll typically have to pay your stamp duty upfront at settlement date. Depending on your financial situation, some lenders may let you increase the size of your home loan in line with your stamp duty costs, depending on your borrowing power, LVR and the current size of your home loan.

However, if you do so, keep in mind that adding the value of your payable stamp duty to your mortgage will increase the overall size and cost of your home loan, and affect your loan-to-value ratio (LVR). It also means you may have larger home loan repayments. Depending on your LVR, you may end up having to pay LMI as well.

Is stamp duty payable on GST?

Yes, stamp duty is payable on GST. This is because stamp duty is paid on a property transfer’s gross value (i.e. the whole thing), so if your property purchase attracts GST, it will be added to the purchase value and included for the purposes of stamp duty calculations.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Meet our home loans expert, Stephen Zeller

Stephen has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and holds a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking. He’s also a member of both the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) and the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA).

Stephen leads our team of Home Loan Specialists, and reviews and contributes to Compare the Market’s banking-relating content to ensure it’s as helpful and empowering as possible for our readers.

Stephen’s three stamp duty tips

  1. Stamp duty is a cost which can often be overlooked when considering purchasing a home. If you’re not eligible for any stamp duty exemptions, be careful to factor in the additional savings needed to cover the fee, or speak to one of our Home Loan Specialists to see if you have enough equity to add it on to your home loan.
  2. Feel free to initially check with one of our Home Loan Specialists whether you may be eligible for any exemptions, but also check with your conveyancer or solicitor to check your eligibility, as they’ll be responsible for confirming the exact amount to be charged at settlement.
  3. If you are eligible for a stamp duty exemption, check to see if you may be eligible for any other government grants or schemes with one of our Home Loan Specialists. They can help workshop your scenario to utilise multiple grants/schemes if you are eligible, possibly saving you thousands of dollars.

If you’re ready to start your home loan journey with us, our home loan comparison tool is ready when you are.


1 Queensland Government, Transfer duty rates. 2023.

2 State Revenue Office Victoria, First home buyer duty exemption, concession or reduction. 2023.

³ Revenue NSW, First Home Buyer Choice. 2023.

single alexksander portrait in bottom global block

Ready to look for a better deal? It’s easy to compare with us.

Compare home loans
single sergei portrait in bottom global block