Stamp duty is kind of like that guest nobody wants at the party, but turns up anyway. You're having a good time, drinks are flowing and the sound of laughter is ringing through the room, when suddenly the door opens and this uninvited guest turns up to spoil the proceedings.
However, anyone concerned about stamp duty spoiling their property party will be heartened to know that the tax burden is much lower when purchasing real estate in Australind, Eaton and other areas around Bunbury compared to the rest of the country. That's according to the Housing Industry Association's (HIA) winter 2015 edition of its Stamp Duty Watch, which analyses stamp duty and its impacts in each state and territory.
According to the analysis, Western Australian properties are well under the top three most expensive states when it comes to stamp duty, at an average of $17,053. While this is still a hefty total, it pales in comparison to Victoria's $21,790, New South Wales' $22,490 and the Northern Territory's $23,128.
The HIA's data could prove a significant piece of ammunition in the ongoing debate over stamp duty. Organisations like the HIA have long been calling for a reform to property taxes to help boost affordability and housing demand.
"Independent research conducted for HIA last year provided compelling evidence of the benefits to Australian living standards and economic growth from the replacement of stamp duty with more efficient, broad-based revenue raising measures," HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said in a 15 July statement.
Its release came on the same day that federal treasurer Joe Hockey called for an open debate on the existing tax system and its effectiveness, including on stamp duty. While buyers of real estate in Bunbury will need to continue paying the tax for the time being, there may indeed come a day when it's merely a thing of the past.