Friday 29th April 2022 from 9am

Wills & Estates Senior Associate Debbie Sage will join Robyn Hyland to talk about the importance of planning for end-of-life care and what options are available.

COVID-19 changes Australian’s home ownership goals


With positive changes rolling out in the industry and restrictions lifting further, there is a buzz being felt in the property market. Licenced Conveyancer and Law Graduate, Rachel Godden, takes a closer look at how the real estate industry has changed and what we can expect in the future.

Consumer behaviour and attitude

Interstate buyers are set to spend big on Gold Coast property as restrictions ease.

With Queensland’s borders set to open to all states and territories, except Victoria, on July 10, there’s a buzz being felt by Gold Coast Real Estate Agents as they brace themselves for a sales rush.

The border reopening has provided a light at the end of the tunnel for many buyers and sellers, as eager interstate buyers are already submitting lists of properties they want to see once border restrictions are lifted.

Recent research by Westpac into spending and savings trends during COVID-19 has revealed the changing spending habits and lifestyles of Australians this year. With these changes taking place, more than a third of Queenslanders are determined to save for their first property.

Approximately 60% of survey respondents indicated that they realise they previously spent too much on things they simply did not need and are driven to change the way they manage money into the future. With holiday and travel activities on hold, the reduction in discretionary spending has put more people in a better position to save for a new home.

With workplaces becoming more flexible offering working from home arrangements, people may not feel as restricted to live as close to central business districts. Many people are considering the possibility of a sea change and are looking to move somewhere less populated than the major cities. There’s a real value of homeownership now during a time when most Queenslanders are spending much more time at home. has reported an almost 50 per cent increase in property searches for listings in regional parts of Australia such as the Gold Coast, compared to last year. Those residing outside of Brisbane are especially keen to move closer to the coastline.

There has been a significant increase in enquiries from NSW residents and Victorians eager to buy across the border and seek the lifestyle the Gold Coast has to offer. Their real estate dollars go a lot further than the major cities they currently live.

Interstate buyers have also been purchasing property on the Gold Coast only having done a virtual tour of the premises, with border restrictions keeping them at a distance.

PEXA (e-Conveyancing)

PEXA is digitally transforming the property exchange experience with:

  • Efficient settlement with real-time lodgement of documents
  • Fast access to cleared funds
  • Safe encrypted signing and funds exchanged via the RBA

With over 9,000 members Australia-wide, e-Conveyancing has simplified the property settlement process and brings settlements into the digital age.

As of 1 July 2019, it was made mandatory in New South Wales that all transactions take place on the e-platform. In Queensland, those mandates have not yet been set. However, as COVID-19 hit, there has been a rush of Queensland solicitors registering or starting to transact in PEXA. Clients were wanting some security that their matter could still be settled should we go into a mandatory lockdown. Agents were including conditions in contracts that it was an essential term for settlement to be affected on PEXA and would only refer clients to Solicitors who were able and willing to do this.

Read more: PEXA transactions critical during Covid-19

HomeBuilder Grant

Both NSW and QLD have introduced a HomeBuilder Grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate existing homes. First home buyers are also eligible for the grant if they meet the criteria as well as still being eligible for stamp duty concessions.

The grant is only available for contracts entered into between 4 June 2020 to 31 December 2020.

To be eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant you must:

  1. Be a natural person (not a company or trust);
  2. Be 18 years or older on the contract date;
  3. Be an Australian Citizen;
  4. Meet the income caps of either:
    1. $125,000 p/a for an individual on their 18/19 taxable income; or
    2. $200,000 p/a for a couple based on combined income 18/19 taxable income
  5. Enter into a contract from 4 June 2020 to 31 December 2020 to either:
    1. Build a new home as principal place of residence. The value of the house and land must not exceed $750,000; or
    2. Substantially renovate a principal place of residence where the contract is more than $150,000 but not exceed $750,000 and the value of the existing property does not exceed $1.5 million.

The Office of State Revenue is working to make HomeBuilder available for Queenslanders as soon as possible. It is expected that an online application form will be available in early August.

QLD are also providing a regional home building boost grant to those buying or building a new home of less than $750,000. You can check your postcode eligibility here

Abolishing Stamp Duty (NSW)

NSW is considering the abolishment of stamp duty to help boost the housing economy. It has been suggested that the introduction of an annual land tax could be the solution which will allow more freedom for people to move and not have to consider a lump sum payment during their transaction. This may encourage seniors to downsize and move which will put more houses on the market for new buyers.

Currently, there are some instances where stamp duty isn’t payable, such as in the event of a breakup of a marriage, and the property is transferred from both parties to the other party or the party that’s remaining in the property, or in the case of transfers between married couples and de-facto partners.

If New South Wales is successful in abolishing stamp duty and reviewing their land tax strategy, the transition could open the door for other states to follow suit.

How can Attwood Marshall Lawyers help?

Attwood Marshall Lawyers are positioned right on the border and with offices in Robina Town Centre, Coolangatta and Kingscliff, our team can assist buyers with residential homes and investment properties in both states, even prior to the borders opening. Our experienced conveyancing team ensure new home buyers and property investors receive the most professional property law services when making their purchase.

Attwood Marshall Lawyers are a leading Property Law firm. For legal help with a conveyance, contact Property and Commercial Department Manager, Jessica Kimpton on 07 5506 8214 or email today.

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Jess Kimpton - Department Manager - Property & Commercial Attwood Marshall lawyers

Jess Kimpton

Department Manager
Property & Commercial

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The contents of this article are considered accurate as at the date of publication. The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and is of a general nature only. Readers should seek legal advice about their specific circumstances. 

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