Just 7 Perth suburbs where first-home buyers can buy a house stamp duty-free

There are just seven suburbs in Perth where the median price suggests first-home buyers could buy a house stamp duty-free under new changes announced in the state government’s latest budget.

Almost 5,000 first-home buyers in Western Australia are expected to save up to $15,390 in stamp duty costs each year under the changes revealed as part of a $1.1 billion housing splash. 

Under the changes, first-home buyers won’t pay any stamp duty on home purchases worth $450,000 and under, up from $430,000. 

The state government has also increased the stamp duty concession price cap, so buyers will also get a discount if they buy a home worth between $450,000 and $600,000, with the cap up from $530,000.  

However, Perth home prices have boomed in recent years, with the median home price up 20.16% to $678,000 during the year to April 2024, according to the latest PropTrack Home Price Index.   

MedinaCalistaMidlandArmadaleBrookdaleMiddle Swan and Mandurah were the only suburbs in Perth where the median house price was $450,000 or less last month, according to PropTrack.  

PropTrack senior economist Paul Ryan said given the rapid rate of price growth across Western Australia, first-home buyers would be feeling the pinch the most, with any additional help being welcomed. 

Perth home prices increased 20.16% to $678,000 during the year to April 2024. Picture: Getty

"While welcome, the concessions are likely to apply to fewer homes going forward as market conditions suggest price growth will continue across Western Australia," he said.  

First-home buyers could still get a stamp duty discount on a house purchase across 84 suburbs throughout the WA capital. 

There were also 50 neighbourhoods across Perth where first-home buyers could buy a unit stamp duty-free, and 79 areas where they could buy a unit with a stamp duty discount.  

In Perth, the median house value jumped 20.80% year-on-year to $727,000, while unit prices were up 14.69% to $495,000. 


Budget housing boost 

The stamp duty changes will cost more than $82 million, as part of $1.1 billion in new housing funding initiatives in the state’s budget.  

WA treasurer Rita Saffioti said they were exploring every measure to boost and invest in housing supply and affordability in the state.  

"We're addressing housing supply from all angles, increasing support for first homebuyers by lifting stamp duty exemptions and concession thresholds, incentives to bring vacant homes back onto the long-term rental market, as well as significant funding for social and affordable housing and homelessness providers,” Ms Saffioti said.  

The government will spend $400 million to expand the Social and Affordable Housing Investment Fund to boost the number of additional social homes to be delivered to nearly 5,000 during this term of government . 

WA treasurer Rita Saffioti said the government was exploring every measure to boost and invest in housing supply and affordability in the state. Picture: Will Russell/Getty

It will provide $92.2 million to more than 120 homelessness services across the state to boost homelessness support. 

The state government will spend $50.1 million to boost regional government worker housing, as well as $34.8 million to unlock regional development-ready land for new housing in Broome, Karratha and Kalgoorlie.  

It will also spend $5 million to give $5,000 bonuses to vacant property owners to encourage them to lease them out on the long-term rental market. 

The $1.1 billion in funding takes the state government’s housing and homelessness spending to $3.2 billion since the 2021-2022 financial year.   

Australia's growing stamp duty problem

Stamp duty is a significant cost for people looking to buy and move homes in WA and the rest of the country.

In jurisdictions like Perth where stamp duty is lower, buyers needed the equivalent of three months' worth of income to cover stamp duty, according to e61 Institute-PropTrack research from last year.

Stamp duty relative to incomes can be four-and-a-half to six times higher than a generation ago, depending on the state.

While stamp duty rates across Australia are progressive – meaning buyers pay disproportionately more in stamp duty for more-expensive homes – even buyers looking at more-affordable homes face a large burden.