05 July 2019

As of July 1st, 2019, more home buyers in the ACT no longer pay duty when they purchase their first home.

Recently the ACT Revenue Office implemented the change, leaving first home buyers with more freedom to choose the house that is right for them.

Eligibility for a duty-free house purchase includes an income threshold, not owning property in the last two years and one buyer must live in the property continuously for one year.

The good news is that all properties in the ACT are eligible for this scheme. Unlike the previous concession scheme, it now applies to vacant residential land and both new and established homes, anywhere in the ACT and at any price.

When looking to purchase a property, it is important to keep your deposit safe. All too often, there are stories of scammers are hacking business email systems and impersonating property lawyers, conveyancers and real estate agents in an effort to steal housing deposits. This can have a devastating impact on the seller, purchaser and professional parties involved.

Across Australia in the property space, in 2018 alone, Victorian property buyers collectively lost more than $200,000 to a hacking scam targeting the email accounts of real estate agents. A Brisbane man lost $90,000 of his deposit proceeds from the sale of his Gold Coast investment property and two property buyers in South Australia also lost close to $1 million through email scams. These incidents are not indiscriminate nor in isolation.

When undertaking a property exchange, key elements of the process that must be guarded against cyber security risk include the Verification of Identity of key persons, the electronic Contract for Sale and the exchange of trust account details for property deposit.

In an effort to increase cyber security and reduce fraud, InfoTrack, the number 1 legal-tech innovator, launched Securexchange. Designed to stop the need to share trust account details via unsecured emails, Securexchange protects the reputation of all professional parties involved in the property transaction.

The key to the service is that only verified parties can view trust account and deposit information, streamlining communication between those parties and offering transparency over the progress of the exchange.

Further, InfoTrack guarantees that if a deposit is transferred to the verified trust account listed in Securexchange, the deposit funds are guaranteed. This gives clients peace of mind that if there are any security breaches on the part of InfoTrack, then InfoTrack makes sure the deposit funds are returned.

InfoTrack are continually adding new features to Securexchange. The most recent update gives lawyers the ability to securely share an Electronic Contract of Sale (eCos) with real estate agents directly from the InfoTrack platform. Coupled with the ability for lawyers to share Trust Account details securely with other parties, Securexchange provides legal and conveyancing professionals with a real answer to combat cyber-fraud at no expense to their firm.

So, what happens next once you have found the right, duty-free home in the ACT for you? Ask your property lawyer, conveyancer or real estate agent if they are using Securexchange to make sure your hard-earned deposit is safe.

Are you a property lawyer, conveyancer or real estate agent practicing in this area? Keep your reputation strong and keep your client's deposit safe using Securexchange.

To find out more about Securexchange, watch our Securexchange explainer video.

For more eligibility criteria for a duty-free housing purchase, visit the ACT Revenue Office announcement here



Leading innovator in legal technology, InfoTrack is an award-winning Australian technology company that is helping a range of professionals and individuals move into the digital age. We create intuitive tools that enable you to find, analyse, organise and communicate information more efficiently and effectively.

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