Dual-occupancy homes are fast becoming a popular alternative to single dwellings in areas where land is in short supply.

Many people are approaching the major banks to seek finance only to find that the lending criteria is different when compared to single dwellings.

How much can you borrow?

The majority of lenders restrict the loan amount for duplexes to below 80% of the property value, or 60% for low doc loans. We deal with banks that are willing to consider lending more, depending on the location and value of the duplex.

No matter the LVR restrictions, you may be able to borrow the full costs of the purchase by using a guarantor.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form and one of our mortgage brokers can help you to get approved.

Why are the banks so conservative?

Duplexes and dual occupancy loans are considered to be a higher risk by most lenders because fewer people want to buy two houses on a single block of land.

This means that if you can’t repay your loan the bank will take longer to sell the property or may end up selling for a lower price.

Because of this, they tend to limit the percentage of the value of the property that you can borrow (known as the LVR) to protect themselves.

How do lenders view dual-occupancy properties?

Many lenders are very risk averse when it comes to the types of properties that they accept as security.

They may take a strict approach to dual occupancy homes and may prefer to decline good loans rather than take the chance that they may lose money on some of their mortgages.

These types of lenders are highly unlikely to allow you to borrow more than 80% of the property value.

Each lender has their own opinion about the risks associated with a duplex or dual occupancy. Generally, their policies are created using data from their previous loans.

If one lender has had trouble selling several duplex properties or has had a significant loss on several mortgages, then they may adjust their maximum LVR for all properties with more than one dwelling on a single title.

Are duplexes harder to value?

Yes. Bank valuers use comparable sales in the local area to determine the value of your property. If you’re buying the property then they will usually value the property at the contract price.

If you already own the property then they may be a little conservative because they will have trouble finding other dual occupancy properties that have sold in the area and do not have the contract of sale as additional evidence to support their valuation.

In capital cities, they may use a wider search area to compensate and, as a result, the valuer can normally find enough comparable sales of duplexes, dual occupancies, properties with granny flats and houses converted into two units.

In smaller towns, this can be difficult because there is almost certainly going to be a lack of comparable sales. As a result, the bank valuer may be more conservative.

If you’re looking to purchase a dual-occupancy dwelling and wish to apply for finance, please call us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form today.

Duplex construction loans

If you own a large block of land with a wide frontage then you may be allowed to build a duplex and then subdivide into two torrens or strata titles.

However, there are a few common problems faced by investors who decide to build a duplex, these are:

  • Banks typically value the property as one block not two even though your subdivision is approved.
  • Many lenders would consider this to be a development loan and would therefore charge a higher interest rate.
  • You can’t usually borrow based on the ‘on completion value’.
  • Most lenders won’t lend you the funds to pay for the additional costs such as council approval and subdivision expenses.

The solution is to apply with a lender that can lend on the ‘on completion value’ of two separate titles as opposed to a valuation ‘in one line’, which is significantly lower.

If you need help to finance the construction of a duplex then please call us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form today.

What are dual occupancy homes?

A dual occupancy is where there are two houses or dwellings on a single block of land.

Common examples of dual occupancies include granny flats, small dual townhouse developments or rural blocks with two separate houses on them.

What are duplexes?

Duplexes are a type of dual occupancy, often with two houses that share a common wall.

Duplexes can also be houses that have had extra walls and entrances installed in order to convert them into two separate units.

There can also be three or four units on a lot, known as a triplex and fourplex (or quadruplex), respectively.

The key difference between a duplex and a townhouse is that duplexes are separate units on one title while townhouses are separate dwellings on separate plots of land.

There are more slight differences between the two property types so check out the townhouse loan page for more information.

What are granny flats?

A granny flat, sometimes known as ‘secondary suites’ or ‘accessory apartments’, are a separate smaller dwelling, sitting on the same block as the larger primary property.

Some granny flats are just separate living spaces, either upstairs or downstairs from the main living quarters.

They are usually designed to house older relatives, provide separate guest accommodation, offer more privacy to a family or can be used as an additional general room for hobbies or work.

Apply for a mortgage

Our mortgage brokers specialise in helping people to finance properties that many lenders don’t accept. We can help you to find a lender that will accept your property as security and get you approved for the loan amount that you require.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form and one of our mortgage brokers will let you know your finance options.

  • Mulan

    Hi, I’m interested in buying a duplex home but for now I’m just researching mortgages and the process as a whole. Do you guys have an FAQs section which I can refer to?

  • Hi Mulan, here’s the link to our home loan FAQs section, which includes FAQs about applying for a home loan, getting loan approval and how we can help:

  • Mulan

    Thank you.

  • Braxton

    Can I get a loan increase for the construction of granny flat ?

  • Hi Braxton, if you have sufficient equity on your existing loan you can look at increasing the loan to construct a granny flat on it.

  • Sandra

    Hi we are a retired couple hoping to knock down and rebuild a duplex townhouse. One to live in the other to sell.
    We have tried many avenues to get a loan to do the build without success. The sale of the second townhouse is a guaranteed $1.2 million on the current sale rate in our area. Is it at all possible to get Sloan for this project?

  • Hi Sandra,
    Thanks for posting.
    This is possible but not easy. We’d need to do this as a development loan showing that the sale of the 2nd property would repay the loan in full. On that basis we can get it approved. The loan would need to be less than $900,000 approx to be acceptable.
    Best of luck with your project. If you’d like our help then please complete this form https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Gerald

    There’s this beautiful duplex I want to buy in Canberra and I would like a home loan for it. But only recently did I find out that properties in the ACT are actually leashold with the lessor being the government. Does this mean that borrowing to buy an ACT property is quite a hassle?

  • Hello Gerald,

    Actually, no. Even if ACT properties are leasehold, they are treated just like any other property, meaning no decreased borrowing power or any conservative policy unless your situation is complicated or you have any credit issues. You can check out the ACT leasehold mortgage page to learn more:

  • Moriarty

    How can I figure out the amount of savings I can potentially make by making extra repayments? The figures and rates are all making me confused so it would be great if there’s a formula or something that I can use to find out.

  • Hi Moriarty,
    Well you can simply use our extra repayments calculator. You simply enter the details of your loan into the calculator and then enter the difference between the normal repayments and the amount you can afford to repay into the extra repayment section. The calculator will then work out the length of your new mortgage term and the total amount that you will save. Here’s the link to the calculator:

  • Jason

    I am trying to get s loan to buy my joint property as I have separated from my partner . The property is a double allotment on one title but has an old stables which has recently been turned into a outdoor entertaining area by myself .The banks are calling this another dwelling making it 2 dwellings on the same property . They will only allow me to loan 80 % of the property value which will leave me short and unable to get a loan . This new so called dwelling has a toilet and kitchen area but no bedding , shower etc so can’t be lived in . Will this fall under the definition of a second dwelling. Thanks

  • Hi Jason,
    It’s hard to say without seeing pictures of the property itself. However we have other lenders that can lend 90% for two dwellings on one title anyway. There may be other reasons such as the land size or location of the property that are also affecting the maximum amount they will lend so we should complete a full assessment to find the solution for this. I’ll email you and cc our specialist in dual occupancy properties.

  • Jason

    We bought the extra land by redrawing on our loan . The land came with a falling down stables and we put it into one title which was a process . I have recently renovated the stables into an outdoor living area before separating from my partner . I know want to have the property in my name and myself take on the loan with her permission . I am finding this very frustrating at the moment since I have been paying the mortgage myself and associated insurances for the property for the last 8 months.

  • That’s terrible. I hope you can sort this out promptly and move on. Based on what you’ve said so far we should be able to help.

  • Drinkwater

    I’m looking to see how much I can borrow to build a duplex. I’m planning to build a dual occupancy home worth $640,000 (land and construction combined) with my brother.

  • Hi Drinkwater,
    There are some lenders who could lend you 95% of the total cost of the land and construction price to build the duplex. Please note that most of the lenders allowing duplex loans won’t lend you the funds to pay for the additional costs such as council approval and subdivision expenses, so you have to be cautious to stay within budget. If you need help to finance the construction of a duplex then please call us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/ today.