Buying a property these days is costly enough without having to pay all those extras like transfer duty. South African bond origination firm Ooba has indicated that finance Minister Trevor Manuel should increase the threshold of when transfer duty is paid.
It was already increased in 2006 from R190 000 to R500 000, and now three years on it looks as though it may be necessary again to allow first time buyers to enter the market.
Transfer duty is the tax a buyer pays when purchasing a home. The money is paid to the government, not the seller of the property. Currently if the property costs less than R500 000 there is no transfer duty/tax payable on it. Transfer duty is often in the tens of thousands of rands and can seriously affect a buyers options. They may be able to afford the bond on a home of R800 000 but when the transfer duty is added on it may put that property into an unattainable category.
Transfer duty is 5% on transactions between R500 000 and R1000 000. Anything above R1000 000 has a flat rate of R25 000 and then 8% of the balance over R1000 000. So for example a house costing R800 000 has a transfer duty of R40 000, making the total R840 000. Quite a big difference.
With the difficulty of getting a bond these days, due to affordability and stricter lending regulations all buyers would welcome a change to make things more affordable. You can find basic transfer duty calculators online, but always confirm how much you will be paying with a professional before you sign anything.
What do you think, will changing the transfer duty threshold stimulate the property market a bit more?