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Downsizing? It’s not cheap – expect to pay $75,000 in Sydney, new research says


The Property Council has found Sydneysiders can expect to shell out $74,815 in stamp duty and other moving costs to move house.

Melbournians pay about $10,000 less at $64,780, followed by Canberra with $46,260.

Even in Hobart, would-be downsizers can expect to pay at least $29,000 to move.

The Council says stamp duty is the biggest cost of upsizing or downsizing, followed by conveyancing fees, bank fees, real estate commissions and removalists.

Downsizing to a retirement village – where the average two-bedroom unit is priced at 67 per cent of the median price of surrounding homes – is also a lot cheaper to make the move because you don’t pay stamp duty on your village home.

It’s no surprise then to find out that Australians currently hold onto their property for an average of 13 years.

More incentives needed for older buyers

While most states offer incentives for first-home buyers, there’s little to encourage older Australians to sell the family home when it is counted as an asset by the Government.

Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison
Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison

Around 15 per cent of us older Australians want to downsize, but don’t want to lose out on their part-pensions, according to the Productivity Commission.

The Property Council wants to see some of the proceeds from the sale of the family home exempted when full-rate age pensioners are aged over 75.

“This measure could bring up to 50,000 family residences into the market, which would help take pressure off housing prices,” the Council’s chief executive Ken Morrison says.

As we reported here, the Federal Government is already looking at new measures to cut the cost of downsizing for seniors and free up larger homes for young families.

Could this be another solution?

Chris Baynes is a columnist and publisher of Frank & Earnest. He is also the publisher of, the leading national directory of retirement villages and aged care services in Australia.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. Great article ladies. It is also our experience at Classic Moves Relocation service that with the trend for vertical Retirement Apartments relocation costs are often higher than a move of similar volume into single ILU’s. Another incentive for clients’ to really rationalise amount of belongings they want to move into new space.

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