SA Budget misses chance to get empty nesters moving

The South Australian Budget has delivered a huge $17.9 billion in infrastructure, which was set to underpin the state’s robust real estate markets and future growth.

However, Raine & Horne SA General Manager James Trimble said the Budget was a missed opportunity.

Mr Trimble said Treasurer Rob Lucas should have encouraged empty nesters to downsize into smaller homes in Adelaide or regional South Australia.

Mr Trimble said the treasury coffers are overflowing because of the state’s booming property market, generating a stamp duty windfall of $214 million.

Meanwhile, the state’s accounts have also enjoyed a $926 million GST boost.

“Today’s Budget has plenty of pluses for the South Australian economy,” Mr Trimble said.

He explained certain suburbs will benefit from the infrastructure outlined in the Budget, including the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the final sections of the North South Corridor and the Riverbank Arena.

“But like other major capital cities, we need to look at ways to boost the supply of properties, and one option is a stamp duty break to encourage empty nesters to move out of superfluous family homes in metropolitan Adelaide,” he said.

“For many older South Australians, they feel it’s time to move on and allow younger buyers to enjoy the fruits of the house and neighbourhood they have enjoyed with their families.

“But they are being forced to remain in the empty nest because of the costs of downsizing.”

Mr Trimble believes the transaction costs associated with selling an existing home and buying a smaller property are major financial hurdles for many older South Australians.

“Older homeowners are doing their sums, and downsizing doesn’t stack up after taxes such as stamp duty on their next home are included,” he said.

“A stamp duty tax break for empty nesters selling an Adelaide property who are aged over 65 could be worth costing up.

“Moreover, any potential loss of income from a stamp duty break for downsizers could be offset by the first-home buyers and upgraders who can buy these well-located yet tightly-held Adelaide homes.”

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