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Over 55s Village Mortgage

As the Australian population ages, there’s an increasing demand for assisted living and independent living complexes specifically designed for over 55s.

These housing communities have been promoted by the state government, in particular in NSW under State Environmental Planning Policy Number 5 (Sepp 5) zoning.

Unfortunately, many banks don’t accept Sepp 5 / over 55 villages as security for a home loan or investment loan. Read on to find out how you can get your mortgage approved.

How much can you borrow?

  • Sepp 5 zoning (NSW): You can borrow up to 80% of the value of the property. In rare cases, you may be allowed to borrow up to 90%.
  • Over 55s villages: You can borrow up to 80% of the value of the property depending on how specialised the property is and what restrictions there are on the resale or leasing of the property.
  • Low doc loans: Not available.
  • Discounts: Competitive professional package and basic loan discounts are available. It is rare that our customers pay a higher rate because they are buying an investment in an independent living village.

Note: It is no longer possible to finance no title/leasehold properties.

Very few lenders consider these retirement communities to be acceptable as security for a home loan.

Please fill in our free assessment form or call 1300 889 743 to speak with a mortgage broker who specialises in financing over 55s housing.

What is the approval criteria?

The lenders will take several factors into account when assessing your loan application such as:

Investment / Owner occupied
Lenders prefer to lend to investors buying in these complexes because if you’re buying the property and intend to live in it then you’re likely close to retirement age. You’ll need to prove to the lender that you can repay the loan before you retire (assumed at age 65).

Lease restrictions
Lenders will consider factors such as whether there’s a long term lease that is registered on the title of the property or if the property can be leased to people under 55 years.

Sale restrictions
Some complexes can only be sold to someone who’s over the age of 55 or have specific rules governing the sale of the property. Lenders see such restrictions as very unfavourable from a lending point of view.

Assisted living / Independent living
The banks will look at how specialised the property is. Their preference is for the property to be as close to a normal home or unit as possible.

Self contained
Lenders prefer units or houses that are self contained, which means they don’t have communal laundry facilities, bathrooms or kitchens.

Sepp 5 is considered to be a favourable zoning while other zonings are considered on a case by case basis depending on what restrictions they impose on the owner and the bank.

Exposure limits
Each lender will limit the number of units or houses that they will finance in any one community. Typically, once they have lent to over 20% of the houses in the development, they will decline all future loan applications.

What is an assisted living complex?

Generally, these properties are specifically designed for the needs of pensioners or older couples and often include features such as ramps, low maintenance gardens, excellent public transport and nearby medical facilities.

Some assisted living complexes also contain additional services such as meal deliveries and community activities.

The complexes are restricted such that only people who have a disability or who’re over the age of 50 or 55 may live in the unit or house.

There’s been concern that in some NSW complexes this isn’t legally binding so they’re often leased out to normal tenants.

Why are the banks so conservative?

The banks are concerned that it may be more difficult to sell these properties if the need arises.

As a result, most lenders won’t lend for them at all while others will restrict the amount you can borrow so that their risk is reduced.

For the most part, these concerns are unfounded. The majority of complexes have few restrictions and are in high demand due to their excellent rent returns, which are often linked to increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or pension rates.

As Australia shifts towards an aged population, it’s difficult to see how these properties won’t be in high demand for the foreseeable future.

Do you need help from an expert?

Our mortgage brokers are specialists in helping people to buy an investment property in a seniors living / over 55’s housing development.

If you’re having trouble financing your investment then please complete our free assessment form or call us on 1300 889 743 and one of our brokers will call you to discuss your options.

  • HHH

    Hi, I’ve been looking at buying an investment property and my friends suggest I consider Sepp 5 properties too. What benefits can these properties offer?

  • Hi HHH,

    Sepp 5 zoned properties are generally reasonably priced and have a good rental yield. This is an offset to their specialised nature and niche market focus. If it’s a new property then you can claim a lot on depreciation and it can potentially save you thousands in tax. You can also go for a negative gearing strategy. If the property is located in a budding town that’s close to a major city or regional centre then all the better! Hope this helps.

  • HHH

    Thanks! Will call later to discuss with one of your brokers :)