June 3, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 154


June 02, 2023

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June 01, 2023

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Queensland Announces Tax Breaks to Drive Investment in Affordable Housing


The Queensland Treasurer has announced that the state’s growing Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector will receive significant tax incentives from the Queensland Government.

From 1 July 2023, BTR developments with at least 10% of rental homes that qualify as affordable housing will receive:

  • A 50% discount on land tax for up to 20 years.

  • Full exemption for the 2% foreign investor land tax surcharge for up to 20 years.

  • Full exemption from the Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty for the future transfer of a BTR site.

Queensland Treasury will consult with the property industry on the land tax concessions before the July 2023 commencement, to ensure they can support the delivery of more homes.


This initiative follows similar moves in the states of New South Wales and Victoria to boost the BTR sector. In July 2020, the New South Wales Government announced it would provide duty and land tax incentives for qualifying “build-to-rent projects.”

The Victoria Government followed shortly thereafter.

Both New South Wales and Victoria offer a 50% reduction on the taxable value of land used for an eligible BTR development. They also offer exemptions from surcharge purchaser duty and surcharge land. In this respect, the Queensland Government announcement is in line with the incentives currently being offered for qualifying BTR projects in those two states.


Queensland has the opportunity to learn from the challenges and practical issues that have arisen in relation to the BTR concessions already being offered in New South Wales and Victoria.

Specifically, the other states have limited their concessions to high-rise developments that include a minimum of 50 units. This means the concessions are not available for low-rise BTR projects that involve detached or semi-detached houses. Accordingly, most qualifying projects are based in metropolitan areas only.

Further, in the other states, the 50% land value reduction does not apply until a new building has been constructed on the land. This means that land tax continues to apply based on the full value of the land during the construction phase of new BTR projects. Ideally, the concessions should apply from the beginning of the first land tax year after the property is acquired (with a clawback of those benefits if the intended BTR project does not proceed or meet the requirements).

The New South Wales and Victoria schemes also include restrictions on the strata subdivision of the high-rise developments for an extended period. While there are good reasons for this, it also means that long-term residents cannot elect to purchase their unit. This means “rent-to-own” schemes do not qualify for the concessions.

We are of the view that this is an excellent opportunity for states to consider further reforms to address the current housing targets and social and affordable housing regimes. We anticipate states may consider the introduction of height and floor space ratio bonuses for the delivery of affordable housing and BTR to address the immediate housing shortage. This will ultimately provide enhanced returns and incentives for the private and public sector to pursue such initiatives.

Copyright 2023 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 90

About this Author

Samuel Brown Distressed Real Estate Lawyer K & L Gates Sydney
Samuel Brown

Samuel Brown is a property projects and investments lawyer, focusing on real estate and infrastructure transactions, developments and investment funds. Mr. Brown's particular expertise includes acquisitions and disposals of development and built form assets, government tenders, major project and development agreements, complex property and infrastructure developments, title structuring and subdivisions, transaction structuring, fund establishment, asset and investment management agreements, joint venture property investment and leasing.

Mr. Brown is a commercially minded lawyer who...

Jennifer McKosker Attorney Real Estate Sydney

Jennifer McCosker is a partner in the Real Estate group in Sydney. She has advised a number of Australia’s leading commercial property investors, financiers and developers on a wide range of transactions, including large-scale property and development finance matters and the sale and acquisition of commercial, retail, industrial and mixed-use properties. She has also acted for clients on complex property development and construction projects, as well as commercial and retail leasing matters.

Well known for her commercial approach, a client is...

Matthew Cridland, KL Gates Law Firm, Tax Law Attorney

Mr. Cridland is a Sydney based indirect tax lawyer. He advises clients in relation to all indirect taxes, including goods and services tax (GST), stamp duty, land tax, payroll tax, wine equalisation tax (WET), luxury car tax (LCT), customs duty and excise.

With respect to clients and sectors, his areas of experience include: real property, financial services, corporate mergers and acquisitions, energy and resources, public private partnerships (PPPs) and infrastructure, telecommunications, retail, insolvency and restructuring, and inbound...