When you own property in WA, you also often have to pay taxes, duties or levies.

Transfer Duty

Transfer duty is also known as stamp duty and is levied by the state government on property purchases. In WA, it is often the biggest tax most property owners need to pay. Transfer duty generally falls due when the property changes hands, typically at settlement. The amount is calculated based on the property’s purchase price or market value, depending on which is higher.

Do You Need to Pay Transfer Duty?

Transfer duty applies to most property buyers in Western Australia, including investors and owner-occupiers. However, the rates vary. Investors usually pay a higher ‘General rate’ while owner-occupiers pay a lower ‘Residential rate’.

That said, first-time homeowners often benefit from discounts or exemptions.For instance, first-time homebuyers purchasing a property valued at less than $430,000 are exempt from stamp duty. There are also concessional rates for properties valued between $430,001 and $530,000.

For vacant land, first homeowners pay no stamp duty if the land is valued at less than $300,000. Discounts apply for values between $300,001 and $400,000.

To apply for concessions, you’ll need pre-approval, available through the WA Department of Finance website.

Stamp Duty is one of the biggest obstacles to purchasing property.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

CGT is levied by the Commonwealth government and is a tax on the net profit – or capital gain – that you receive when you sell or dispose of an asset such as property. The gain is essentially the difference between what you paid for the property and what you sold it for. If the property sells for less than what you paid for it, this results in a capital loss. CGT is critical because it can significantly impact how much profit you make from selling a property.

Do you need to pay CGT?

In general, investors who sell their property for a profit are liable to pay CGT unless they acquired the property before September 20, 1985. Whether you’ll need to pay CGT when you sell depends on whether you owned the property as an investment and also whether there was any “gain.”

The “gain” refers to the difference between the selling price and the purchase price of the property. If you sell the property for less than you bought it, it’s considered a “capital loss.” CGT is not a separate tax but rather part of your annual income tax return, so any gain will be taxed subject to your marginal rate.

If you have owned the property for more than a year, you might be eligible for a 50% CGT discount. To make sure you’re across your CGT liability, you should always speak to your tax adviser before selling an investment property.

Land Tax

Land tax is a state levy based on the total “unimproved value of all owned land”. In other words, it applies to the value of the land without any dwelling or improvement rather than the value of the property. Each year, the WA Valuer General assesses the value of all land in the state with a view to calculating land tax liabilities.

Do You Need to Pay Land Tax?

If you own properties that aren’t your primary residence, you’ll likely have to pay land tax if their combined land value is more than $300,000. This includes multiple land holdings added together, even if no single property meets the taxable threshold.

Your primary residence is usually exempt.

You may also be required to pay the Metropolitan Region Improvement Tax (MRIT) if your land has a land tax liability. The MRIT is imposed at 0.14 cents for every dollar exceeding $300,000 for public facility maintenance within the Perth metropolitan area.

You can calculate your land tax and MRIT liabilities using the online tool on the WA Office of State Revenue website.

Council Rates

Council rates are essential payments to local council for maintaining local services and infrastructure like waste management, road upkeep, and local government amenities. Every property owner, whether an owner-occupier or investor, must pay council rates.

In WA, these rates also encompass charges for an Emergency Services Levy, which provides funding for fire and other emergency services.  You can find out more about council rates on the website of your local council. As an investor, you may be able to claim council rates as a tax deduction.

Owning a property comes with a number of responsibilities, including the need to pay various taxes. You should make sure you’re across these to avoid the risk of potential fines. And, if in doubt, always speak to your tax adviser.

What Taxes Are Required When Buying a Property in Perth?

The process of buying a home may be very stressful, and it’s a significant investment. It is not only the actual cost of the property you need to pay, but different taxes applied to it.

Key takeaways:

  • Always calculate stamp duty and all the extra costs involved in property purchase beforehand.
  • First home buyers do not need to pay any stamp duty if the property is worth $430,000 or less.
  • A property worth more than $430,000 in Western Australia has different ranges of stamp duties

Annual property tax rates

Are you planning to rent an apartment in Perth? Let’s analyse the annual property tax rates in Australia. According to PwC Australia, the annual tax rates are $400 plus 0.3% of unimproved land value. This rate is for owner-occupied land. On the other hand, for a residential property, the rate is $1500 plus 1.1% of unimproved land value.

We should move towards the other fees you must pay when buying a property in Perth. One of these fees is government fees.

Transfer duty

Transfer registration fee, also known as “Stamp Duty”, is the type of tax directly levied by the current government. All associated costs in transferring the property to the buyer are included in the fee. Once the fee is paid, the process of transferring the property title will begin.

In Perth, the stamp duty depends on the market value directly. The greater the property’s market value, the higher the transfer fee. No transfer fee applies to properties worth $430,000 or less. However, property worth more than $430,000 in Western Australia has different ranges of stamp duties.

According to a stamp duty calculator, the WA stamp duty ranges from $1.90 per $100 or part thereof to $19,665 + $5.15 per $100 or part thereof above $500,000.

Another type of government fee is the Mortgage registration fee. The fee applies when you have borrowed a home loan from any bank to support your property purchase. The bank uses this mortgage for the security of the loan.

In simpler words, the bank uses the mortgage as a safety and security option. If you cannot pay your loan, the bank has the right to sell or own your property. The rules will be the same even if you have taken a loan from any other financial organisation. The possession, also known as Title Deed, will remain intact until you have repaid your loan.

The charges that the mortgage fee covers are the origination fee, application fee, underwriting fee, administrative, and processing fee. Other than this, another important payment that is required is called Points. The cost of borrowing money from a financial institution or bank is expressed in terms of points. This fee is paid upfront to the lending organisation or bank.

Mortgage registration is different throughout the states. Different states have different fees. For instance, the mortgage fee in NSW is $143.50; in VIC, it is $119.70, etc. For WA, the mortgage fee is $174.70, which will be applied to the property in Perth.

Mortgage discharge registration

Another type of fee is mortgage discharge registration. It is to clear the title of the property. Once your mortgage is discharged, the mortgage discharge registration fee is recorded.

Mortgage discharge is documentation that your lender provides. It is written proof that your previous mortgage has been paid off. The fee for this document is comparatively lower than the other fees.

Australia’s mortgage discharge registration fee ranges from $50 to $600. Once the fee has been paid, the property title can be transferred to the borrower completely, and the buyer can receive a duties assessment notice.

So, these were some taxes required when buying a property in Perth. In addition, you’ll have to pay for a few extras if you want to make use of our full range of services. For instance, a real estate fee will be applied if you are trying to buy a property by selling one.

You will need to pay the agent’s fee if you are seeking consultancy from a professional property agent in your settlement process. In addition, if you are a foreigner, you will also need to pay the foreign buyer’s duty.

Another type of fee is the lender’s mortgage insurance fee. In short, the more services you receive, the more you have to pay.


We offer a 15-minute no obligation consultation to existing property investors, first home buyers and small business owners who are looking at property investments, business and asset protection. To Book an Appointment simply click here and pick a time and date.


How can we help? if you have any questions or would like further information, please feel free to give our office on 08 9221 5522 or via email – info@camdenprofessionals.com.au  or arrange a time for a meeting so we can discuss your requirements in more detail.

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The material on this page and on this website has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained on this page and on this website is General Advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs.

Before making an investment decision based on this advice you should consider, with or without the assistance of a securities adviser, whether it is appropriate to your particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances. In addition, the examples provided on this page and on this website are for illustrative purposes only.

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