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Property Types

Specialist property finance made easy!

Did you know that different banks accept different types of property as security for a loan?

The secret to getting your loan approved is to find the right lender for the type of property that you are buying!

Read our articles on property types

How can we help you?

We are loan approval experts – not just normal mortgage brokers. So if you need to finance an unusual property such as a serviced apartment, company title unit, duplex, rural land or even a flood zoned property then we will know which lenders can help you.

What types of property can be financed?

What does a bank assess?

When banks consider a property as security for a loan, they are ultimately assessing the likelihood that they will lose money in the event that the property has to be sold to repay the debt. So what are they actually looking for?

  • Loan to Value Ratio (LVR): This is the amount you are borrowing as a percentage of the value of the property. Generally, the higher the risk of the property, the lower the LVR you are eligible to borrow. Often you can borrow 100 per cent for normal houses but may only be able to borrow 70 per cent for riskier properties.
  • Saleability: Properties that have limited appeal to the general public may take longer to sell so are less desirable as security for a loan. Banks always want a property that can be sold quickly in the event that the loan cannot be repaid.
  • Stable value: Clearly if a property reduces in value significantly then the bank could make a loss if they had to sell the property to repay the loan. Because of this they tend to require a lower LVR when lending money for a property that may fluctuate in value.
  • Legal issues: Some property types such as company title units do not have a normal certificate of title so there may be legal issues in the event that the bank has to sell the property to recover their loan.

When trying to obtain approval for a loan secured by an unusual property we always present a case to the lender highlighting the strengths of the application and explaining why they should consider the loan. By speaking in their language and providing additional supporting documents, we can often give them enough of a reason to bend their lending guidelines.

Do you have the address?

If you know the address of the property that you need to finance then often our staff can find out more information on that property and get back to you with the specific bank policy that is applicable.

We can search for the property address online and gather information from old sale listings including the limitations or possible problems from a lender’s point of view. We can also contact the credit departments of several lenders which keep databases on specific properties of interest.

In particular, most large blocks of units (less than 50 units) are in at least one lender’s database so we can ask about them what their most recent credit decision was for an application submitted with one of the properties in that block as security. This is a quick method we can use to find out if it is feasible for you to buy that particular property.

There are actually two types of valuations

There are two types of valuations that are used when valuing a property.

Which one is used will depend on the property and the discretion of the valuer.

In scope

The so-called PropertyPro template was developed by the Australian Property Institue (API) as a way for valuers to complete a valuation quicker based on set parameters.

Otherwise known as a short form or in scope valuation, it’s flexible enough to be used for most residential valuations.

Banks prefer short form because it’s a lot easier to read and they can quickly check off whether the property meets their lending criteria.

Making life easier for the banks means there’s more chance that your home loan will be approved.


Out-of-scope tend to be longer valuations because they take into account more characteristics about the property.

They also tend to be expensive and banks don’t like them because it means more work to ensure that they can accept it as per their lending policy.

Out-of-scope is common with commercial properties because a lot more has to be considered in the valuation such as the revenue potential of operating a business on the premises.

However, some residential properties have features and characteristics that are a little outside the square as well.

What methods are used when valuing?

Highest and best use

Due weight is given to the land’s potential of being used for other purposes other than residential.

This is based on current zoning and local council planning rules only and not any potential changes to these rules.

Like banks, valuers aren’t interested in speculative pricing as developers and investors are.

For example, if planning rules allow for the erection of buildings (think rural properties) or for certain commercial activities to be undertaken, the valuer will take this into account in their final valuation.

It’s particularly important for developers or investors considering “land banking” a vacant commercial lot to understand.

When comparing property sales, the valuer needs to compare properties that have similar highest and best use.

Once the highest and best use is identified, the valuer then needs to determine the most likely that a vendor and purchaser would recognise at the date of valuation:

  • The use must be legal.
  • The use must be within the realm of probability (it must be likely and not speculative).
  • The use must be the kind to come within the imagination of a particular purchaser.
  • The use should be economically feasible.

Market evidence and comparability

When comparing properties, valuers rely on actual sales, not properties that are currently on the market:

  • They consider properties with similar characteristics, quality and located in the same area.
  • The sales that took place would need to appeal to the same segment of the market for the property being valued.
  • Land use and potential utility should be similar.
  • Location should appeal to the same market.
  • Similar title and tenure.
  • Land topography, shape, slope and view can provide scope, or present difficulties, for development.
  • Similar amenities and services e.g. comparing a rural property which has town water to another that has access to town water.
  • The date of the transaction and the date of valuation should be close, with some adjustment applied as per the passing of time – a large adjustment for a large period of time would not be good evidence.

No two parcels of land are similar, therefore adjustments need to be made. There is no hard and fast rule.

However, the most reliable comparable sales are the ones that require the fewest and least complex adjustments.

Do you need our help?

Our staff have experience working for various bank and non-bank lenders and as a result know exactly what the banks are looking for when approving a loan. For this reason we often receive enquiries from people requiring finance for unusual properties. Please enquire online and one of our mortgage brokers can help you to find a loan for the property you are interested in buying.

  • M Stang

    I want to buy a duplex, is that allowed by the banks or do they have any reservations on such properties?

  • Hi there, not all lenders accept duplex or multiple units on one title as most of them accept only one property on one title. Having said that, there are lenders who can accept a duplex so going through the right one is key to getting approved.

  • E. Kelsall

    Hello. I want to borrow 95% LVR for an owner occupied property. I have full financials and am looking to borrow around $550k. The property is actually 4 units on one title & a bungalow out the back but I want to restore it back to one house. I’ve been declined by a bank already so I need help.

  • Hey E. Kelsall, we know a lender that has a 95% for 4 units on one title option in hteir policy. However, it’s likely that with the bungalow, it’s 5 units on one title! We need clarification as to it being either 4 units or 5 since this is a big deal. If lenders don’t budge then we may need to change the situation and drop your LVR a bit or go guarantor. Please speak with one of our expert mortgage brokers by calling 1300 889 743 to find out what can be the best way to proceed.

  • Gilruth

    I have a good income and I want to borrow 80% to buy a church which I’ll convert to a residential property afterwards. It’s a Cat 2 location so shouldn’t be a bit issue I guess.

  • We may need to check the zoning and see if it would be considered commercial, which would mean a non-conforming security. If you have a building contract in place to convert it to a house and it is fairly close to a house already then it can potentially be considered residential. Please enquire online for a full and free online assessment: