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Tax incentives should be offered to downsizers

By Louise Morrin

Sydney and its suburbs have been suffering from a supply shortage for some time now, but one major group believes it has a possible solution to the problem. The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) explained that offering tax incentives to retirees looking to downsize would free up property in Carlton and real estate in other parts of the region.

"We believe in supporting older Australians on the purchase of a smaller house on the basis that it frees up large homes that are being under-utilised," REINSW's president Malcolm Gunning said.

He emphasised that the senior citizens transfer duty exemption should be lowered to 55. In addition, the group is calling for the current new home restriction to be lifted, which would also open up the market.

Empty nesters impact the market

REINSW stressed that it's often the case that empty nesters stay in their current property, even though it is too big for their needs. Taxes and other charges provide a disincentive for moving, which means first-time buyers are unable to secure their first purchase of property in Carlton.

There is some assistance available to older property buyers in New South Wales. Among them is the Senior's Principal Place of Residence Duty Exemption, which is available on new build properties.

The eligible applicant must move into their new home within 12 months of completion, and they must also have owned and occupied a home in the state over the past year. However, this property must be sold within six months after the current agreement is completed.

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