Stamp Duty on Transfer of Real Property (Land)

All transfers of residential and primary production land are subject to duty on the instrument of transfer based on the value of the land (including improvements) or the consideration (including GST) whichever is greater (unless an exemption, concession, rebate or reduction applies).

No liability to duty arises in relation to a conveyance or transfer of an interest in non-residential and non-primary production land (“qualifying land”) executed on or after 1 July 2018 (subject to the conveyance or transfer of an interest not arising from a contract of sale or other transaction entered into before 1 July 2018).

Residential or primary production land

Qualifying land (e.g. commercial, industrial)

Residential or primary production land

If you are purchasing residential or primary production land, stamp duty is payable at conveyance rates.

If you are a Foreign Purchaser and you acquire residential land in South Australia, from 1 January 2018 you will be required to pay a foreign ownership surcharge.

What is land used for residential purposes?


Land will be taken to be used for residential purposes where it is determined that:

  • it is being predominantly used for that purpose;
  • although the land is not being used for any particular purpose at the relevant time the land should be taken to be used for residential purposes due to improvements that are residential in character having been made to the land; or
  • the land is vacant, or vacant with only minor improvements, the land is within a zone established by a Development Plan under the Development Act 1993 that envisages the use, or potential use, of the land as residential, and the land should be taken to be used for residential purposes due to that zoning (subject to the qualification that if the zoning of the land indicates that the land could, in a manner consistent with the Development Plan, be used for some other purpose (other than for primary production) then the vacant land will not be taken to be used for residential purposes).

In some cases the zoning of the land will be relevant where the land is unimproved or there are only minor improvements.

A further exception is in relation to land which although coded as residential by the Valuer-General will nevertheless be considered by the Commissioner to be commercial in nature.

This treatment will be consistent with the Local Government zoning of the land. Land uses that fall into this category are Hostels, Hotels, Motels, Serviced Apartments and short term unit accommodation.

What is land used for primary production?

Land will be taken to be used for primary production purposes where it is determined that:

  • it is being predominantly used for primary production purposes; or
  • although the land is not being used at the relevant time the land should be taken to be used for primary production purposes due to a classification that has been assigned to the land by the Valuer-General.

What is considered to be residential or primary production land?

Land will be considered to be residential or primary production land, if it is coded with a Land Use Code (LUC) within one of the following categories:

  • Residential (with some exceptions) (LUC 1100-1999)
  • Primary Production (LUC 9100-9990)
  • Vacant Land - Urban (LUC 4100)
  • Vacant Land with minor improvements - Urban (LUC 4101)
  • Vacant Land - rural residential (LUC 4150)
  • Vacant Land with minor improvements - Rural Living (LUC 4151)

Qualifying land

No liability to duty arises in relation to a conveyance or transfer of an interest in non-residential and non-primary production land (“qualifying land”) executed on or after 1 July 2018 (subject to the conveyance or transfer of an interest not arising from a contract of sale or other transaction entered into before 1 July 2018).

Accordingly, only conveyances or transfers of an interest in residential and primary production land remain liable to duty. Further information regarding the phased reduction of the rates applicable to qualifying land from 7 December 2015 to 30 June 2018 is available in Information Circular 103.

What is qualifying land?

Qualifying land means land that is being used other than for residential purposes or for primary production as defined the Stamp Duties Act 1923.

The Commissioner will generally rely on land use codes to determine whether he considers land to be residential or primary production land. The land use codes within the following Land Use Code (LUC) headings will be taken to be qualifying land:

  • Commercial (LUC 2000-2990)
  • Industrial (LUC 3100-3909)
  • Vacant Land* (with some exceptions) (LUC 4110-4600)
  • Institutions (LUC 5100-5990)
  • Public Utilities (LUC 6100-6990)
  • Recreation (LUC 7100-7900)
  • Mining and Quarrying (LUC 8100-8409)

*unless the land is within a zone established by a Development Plan under the Development Act 1993 that envisages the use, or potential use, of the land as non-residential and non-primary production

Stamp duty on transfers of residential and primary production land will remain unchanged. Vacant land will be considered to be used for primary production or residential purposes in certain circumstances.

What is not qualifying land?

The land use codes within the following LUC headings are not considered to be qualifying land:

  • Residential (with some exceptions) (LUC 1100-1999)
  • Primary Production (LUC 9100-9990)
  • Vacant Land - Urban (LUC 4100)
  • Vacant Land with minor improvements - Urban (LUC 4101)
  • Vacant Land - rural residential (LUC 4150)
  • Vacant Land with minor improvements - Rural Living (LUC 4151)

When does the stamp duty reduction apply?

Application of the stamp duty reductions are based on the date of the contract for sale and purchase of the qualifying land, not the date of the Memorandum of Transfer or other conveying instrument. If a contract has been assigned, the date of the contract is used to determine whether a stamp duty reduction applies.

What is required?

It is important that the purchaser legally records their interest in any land they purchase quickly and efficiently to protect their investment.

The usual practice is that the purchaser will be responsible for the payment of the appropriate stamp duty and Lands Titles Office registration fees at the time either the purchaser or their representative arranges stamping and then lodges the documentation for registration at the Lands Titles Office.

Rate of stamp duty

Most transfers of land are charged as detailed below. A number of concessions are detailed in the Stamp Duties Act 1923 (for example, the purchase of an off-the-plan apartment which meets certain criteria), and other conveyances may be exempt (for example, transfers from an estate of a deceased person to a beneficiary under the will).

The stamp duty rates for conveyances are shown below.

Please note: the calculation of stamp duty on transfers of real property can take into account a number of factors (e.g. Section 67, land holder provisions).

Where value of the property conveyedAmount of Duty
Does not exceed $12,000$1.00 for every $100 or part of $100
Exceeds $12,000 but not $30,000$120 plus $2.00 for every $100 or part of $100 over $12,000
Exceeds $30,000 but not $50,000$480 plus $3.00 for every $100 or part of $100 over $30,000
Exceeds $50,000 but not $100,000$1,080 plus $3.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $50,000
Exceeds $100,000 but not $200,000$2,830 plus $4.00 for every $100 or part of $100 over $100,000
Exceeds $200,000 but not $250,000$6,830 plus $4.25 for every $100 or part of $100 over $200,000
Exceeds $250,000 but not $300,000$8,955 plus $4.75 for every $100 or part of $100 over $250,000
Exceeds $300,000 but not $500,000$11,330 plus $5.00 for every $100 or part of $100 over $300,000
Exceeds $500,000 $21,330 plus $5.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $500,000

Use the Stamp Duty Conveyance Calculator to determine duty payable.

Download the rates chart