This dynamic has led the opposition to label Labor’s lack of change since it formed government in 2015 a “tax by stealth”, with the LNP promising to outline its own yet-to-be-detailed threshold change in Thursday’s budget reply.


What they said

“The fact of the matter is, the best thing we can do for a Queenslander’s cost of living for their lifetime is help get them into their first home,” Miles told journalists on Sunday.

Speaking alongside him, Deputy Premier and Treasurer Cameron Dick said the change would mean properties worth up to 85 per cent of Brisbane’s median price would incur no stamp duty for first-time buyers, compared to only 77 per cent in Melbourne and 70 per cent in Sydney.

Dick noted the foreign ownership stamp duty increase would likely only affect an extra 1800 transactions annually, adding the government had tried, in a “very careful fashion”, to help first-time owners without exacerbating prices.

“Someone coming into the market will do much better under our reforms than in Sydney or in Melbourne.”

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Cameron Dick

Responding to swift criticism from some parts of the property sector about the increased tax on foreign owners, Miles said: “These are foreigners bidding up the price of houses in our state, up against first-home owners”.


Jess Caire, executive director of the Property Council of Australia’s Queensland division, criticised the lack of consultation and said lifting foreign owner taxes was an “apartment killer” that was likely to result in fewer new properties being built, and at higher prices.

UNSW housing research and policy professor Hal Pawson, who wrote two recent reports into Queensland’s housing crunch, told Brisbane Times stamp duty cuts were publicly popular and helped those who got them, but ultimately increased prices for all.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief Antonia Mercorella welcomed the stamp duty change, while calling for the threshold to be higher still and extended to those who had been out of property ownership for more than five years. She also said first-time owners should be allowed to rent out a room in their property.

The LNP’s shadow treasurer, David Janetzki, claimed the shift as an “astonishing backflip” by Labor and a “major win” for the opposition before October’s election, saying Miles described the idea as a “thought bubble” in January when the LNP proposed it.

But Miles and Dick hit back at his comments, citing the LNP’s failure to detail what its first home buyer threshold would be lifted to or how it would be funded.

By the numbers

In the past four years, $216 million in stamp duty concessions have been applied to 17,660 first home buyer transactions across Brisbane.

What else you need to know

Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the change would sit alongside a recent doubling of the first home owner grant and the passage of legislation to allow the federal government’s shared-equity “help to buy” scheme to operate in the state.