Labor’s lacklustre stamp duty scheme fails first homebuyers

Labor’s lacklustre stamp duty scheme fails first homebuyers

Posted on: 15 April 2024

As South Australia’s housing crisis deepens – and the dream of homeownership slips further out of reach for many – it’s been revealed Labor’s stamp duty relief scheme for first home buyers is having little impact.

The Opposition has been provided data from Treasury officials that reveals a mere 1,169 applications for the concession have been approved since it was introduced almost a year ago.

Labor estimated almost 4,000 first home buyers a year would benefit from the scheme.

Despite Peter Malinauskas launching the initiative with much fanfare at the last State Budget, many first homebuyers have since realised they don’t qualify for stamp duty relief due to Labor’s restrictive eligibility criteria.

In order to have your stamp duty abolished, the property must be a new build and cost less than $650,000 or be vacant land and cost less than $400,000.

The current median house price in metropolitan Adelaide is $740,000. Across South Australia, it’s $665,000.

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said instead of providing real relief for South Australians wanting to enter the property market, Peter Malinauskas has left many feeling abandoned.

“While Labor’s stamp duty scheme looks great on paper, when you read the fine print you realise the scheme is riddled with limitations rendering it practically useless for the average South Australian first home buyer,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“To learn that just over a thousand applicants have successfully received this relief is embarrassing during a housing crisis and when so many South Australians are struggling to enter the property market.

“Instead of the flashy, deceptive headlines, Peter Malinauskas must genuinely assist more South Australian families in achieving their dreams of home ownership and address the state’s growing housing crisis.”

Shadow Minister for Finance and Tax Reform, Heidi Girolamo, said that when it comes to tangible housing solutions the Malinauskas Labor Government continues to fail.

“We need initiatives that genuinely help first home buyers, not ones that merely create the illusion of assistance,” Ms Girolamo said.

“The gap between Adelaide’s median house price and the threshold for this stamp duty relief highlights how out of touch Peter Malinauskas is with the state of South Australia’s growing housing crisis.

“Adelaide has the tightest rental market in the country, and the number of new dwelling builds is falling, all while many South Australians are struggling to keep a roof over their heads as cost of living pressures soar.

“Peter Malinauskas must do more to ease the pressures of the housing crisis.”


Treasury provided evidence via the Budget & Finance Committee indicating that to 25 March 2024:

Applications Approved


Applications Received


Applications Denied


Applications Awaiting Further Information


2023/24 Budget Measures Statement references 3,800 as the expected take up.