Most Australians think cutting or abolishing stamp duty is the best way government can help people into home ownership, according to a national survey.

Only 15% believe abolishing negative gearing (the centrepiece of Labor’s federal election policy) is the best way for government to assist the property market.

The poll by online property agency iBuyNew – which asked “What would be the best way for government to assist the property market?” – found 55% of respondents want to see a reduction in stamp duty.

Another 30% of respondents suggest that increasing first-home buyer grants would be most effective, while 15% want negative gearing to be scrapped.

iBuyNew CEO Mark Mendel  says state governments remain over-reliant on stamp duty.

“State governments still have an unhealthy dependence on stamp duty which is just a drag on the economy and a handbrake on homebuyers,” he says.

“If governments are not prepared to abolish stamp duty they should at least consider reductions or more concessions for certain buyers.”

Mendel says greedy state governments also have been behaving badly by “slugging foreign investors with excessive new surcharges and tax increases”.

“Foreigners buying property in Australia should be paying some tax but the measures that were recently announced by the NSW, Victorian and Queensland governments were over the top,” he says.