New analysis shows that average stamp duty costs have increased by between 527% and 795% in the last 20 years, throwing up a major barrier to ownership in Australia.
The true cost of stamp duty over the life of an average mortgage is now $61,542 in Sydney, $56,616 in Melbourne, $14,733 in Brisbane, $21,564 in Hobart, $33,654 in Perth, $35,427 in Canberra, $30,393 in Adelaide and $49,701 in Darwin.
The Property Council of Australia's Chief Executive Ken Morrison said stamp duty was out of control and was now one of the biggest impediments to entering the housing market.
"Stamp duty has become a runaway cash grab that's hurting Australia's economy and locking out potential homebuyers," Mr Morrison said.
"These astounding increases in the costs of stamp duty are nothing short of scandalous.
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"The community should be outraged that they are being slugged with such excessive charges, especially at a time when housing affordability is an acute challenge.
"Stamp duty is effectively the last dollar you pay off your mortgage and homebuyers can't afford to be hit with tens of thousands of extra dollars in the cost of an average house. But that's exactly what is happening now under this out-of-control system, despite the low interest environment.
"Stamp duty has to go, it is our worst, most inefficient tax," Mr Morrison said.
"Getting rid of stamp duty needs to be a top priority of national tax reform and every government in the country.
"Treasury's own modelling shows that Australia's economic welfare is reduced by 73 cents for every dollar of stamp duty revenue. That's 50 per cent worse than company tax, and three and a half times worse than GST or income tax.
"Taxes are supposed to lean lightly on the economy, not act as a barrier to economic activity, job creation and prosperity, but that is exactly what stamp duty does."