Unsurprisingly, no adjustment to transfer duty rates was announced in this year’s budget. It follows a drop in the revenue that government earns from property sales: transfer duty collection for the 2017/2018 tax year came in at R7.8bn, about R620m less than the R8.42bn treasury had hoped to earn. The transfer duty shortfall can be attributed largely to the relief that was offered to entry-level home buyers when government raised the transfer duty exemption threshold last year from R750,000 to R900,000. Though buyers in the sub-R900,000 bracket were the biggest winners from the adjustments introduced in the 2017 budget, anyone who bought a property priced at R1.25m or more benefited too. From March 1 last year they effectively saved R4,500 in transfer duty. Transfer duty revenue was hit not only by the higher exemption threshold but by a dip in housing sales. Industry players say market sentiment was dented last year by ongoing political uncertainty, credit rating agency downgrades ...

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