This old chestnut… Yes, if you’re buying, you have to pay it!
When working out your finances, you must take into account stamp duty, also known as transfer duty, otherwise you could find yourself short and unable to buy your property.
Stamp duty is payable on every transfer of property, with very limited exceptions (for example, first home buyers and pensioners may be entitled to concessions). It’s not a cut-and-dried amount – it is primarily calculated as a percentage of the purchase price. Other factors may come into play, such as whether you’re considered a foreign purchaser, if the purchase price is less than the market value or (potentially) if you’re buying off-the-plan.
The stamp duty is paid in addition to the purchase price and is paid directly to the State Revenue Office at settlement. Their stamp duty calculator can be a very handy tool when you’re researching properties and working out what you can afford.