Is your property type stopping you from getting a mortgage?

The property title is a legal document, often a certificate, which defines what property you own.

Everything that affects your property will be listed on the title including who the owner(s) is, mortgages and caveats, and any covenants.

For all title types, aside from Torrens and Strata, there are a few restrictions on the amount you can borrow.

How much can you borrow?

  • First home buyer: 95% of the property value.
  • Investor: 95% of the property value.
  • 100% loans: Available with some of our lenders if you have a guarantor.
  • Low doc: 80% of the property value.
  • Discounts: Competitive professional package and basic loan discounts are available.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online to find out if your property title will be accepted.


Acceptable title types

Torrens title

This is the most common type of title.

It provides a single document with guaranteed ownership and its registered with the state government so there are few disputes or unregistered dealings.

Torrens title is commonly used for land or houses.

Strata title

This is a type of Torrens title which commonly refers to unit, apartment or townhouse properties.

Strata titles define the property as the airspace occupied by each unit, with common areas such as gardens and stairwells that are shared by each owner.

A strata corporation is set up to handle maintenance of common areas and insurance of the buildings.

Community title

Similar to strata title, community title usually refers to an entire subdivision or neighbourhood.

By setting up a community title rather than a strata title, the entire community can pay to look after common grounds.

In addition, gardens, security, tennis courts, pools and any other services in the neighbourhood can all be shared by the occupants.

In some cases, this type of title is referred to as Neighbourhood title but for all intents and purposes this is the same as Community title.

Company title

For more information about financing company title properties, please refer to our company title page.

You may be required to borrow a lower percentage of the property value.

Old system title

When Australia was first settled, there was no formal system for registering the ownership of land.

As the colonies developed, they created registers and, eventually, a formal centralised system for registering ownership which has over time moved to the Torrens title system.

Properties are not registered in this system are known as Old System title properties.

By applying with the right lender you should be able to obtain approval for a mortgage.

Qualified torrens title

A Qualified torrens title property is effectively a normal Torrens title property with a warning that the land is held subject to any other person’s interest that may exist.

In most cases, these are properties that were previously old system title that have been converted to be Torrens title properties.

This title is acceptable to some lenders as security for a home loan for up to 80% of the property value.

Additional bank fees may apply as part of the application process.

Limited Torrens title

This is a standard Torrens title property which has not been adequately surveyed so it is not known exactly where the boundaries of the land are.

You can convert limited title properties into standard Torrens title properties but there are usually additional costs involved.

These properties are unacceptable to some banks but we have access to some lenders that can consider limited title properties for a mortgage.

As a general rule you can borrow up to 80% of the property value. A survey may be required by the lender to confirm the property boundaries.

Leasehold title (conditions apply)

There is no freehold estate land in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) but there is a leasehold system.

This means that ownership of a property is in actual fact a right to use the land for a specified term, usually for a term of 99 years.

Crown Land / Perpetual Leasehold title in other states are also common. In particular in NSW some luxury apartments on converted wharfs are maritime leasehold.

If the lessor is the government for a particular state or territory, we are likely to have no problems helping you to get approval for your mortgage.

Leases that are not from a government body cannot be financed with a home loan.


Which bank will accept your property?

Our mortgage brokers are experts in financing properties with titles that may not tick all of the boxes for every lender.

We can quickly work out if you can get approval and find you the lowest interest rate for your home loan.

If your borrowing power is restricted due to the nature of the property, you may actually be able to borrow 100% of the purchase costs by using a guarantor.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online to find out how we can help you.

  • Matilda

    How can we change a limited torrens title to standard title with a change in the ownership?

  • Hi Matilda,

    Since this is related with council, we cannot assist much in this case. You could seek the help of the solicitor or you will need to apply to local council or lands title for this.

  • howitt

    I want to buy a normal Torrens title property and need to borrow 85% LVR. Is it possible for me to get a no LMI home loan even if I’m not a doctor?

  • Hey howitt,

    You may be able to get a no LMI home loan if you’re borrowing no more than 85% LVR, you have a perfect credit history, you earn more than $120k a year and you’re buying in a major metro area. If the security property is in Sydney then the combined income of all borrowers may need to be more than $180k (excluding rent income). Please check out our no LMI home loans page for more info:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/lenders-mortgage-insurance/lmi-discounts-and-no-lmi/

  • Canary

    So will the banks accept a home loan to buy a leasehold property that’s in the ACT?

  • Hi Canary,

    Banks do accept properties in the ACT even if they are actually leasehold. Unlike leasehold properties elsewhere, there are no restrictions on the length of lease remaining. A Canberra property is treated like any other freehold property for lending purposes. You can learn more about this on the ACT leasehold mortgage page:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/property-types/act-leasehold-canberra-property/

  • DDP

    I’m still learning about the various terms and jargon used in the real estate business so do you have any resource that I can read to help with this?

  • Hey DDP,
    We’ve put together a full list of real estate terms and jargon that are commonly used in Australia. You can check them out on the real estate terminology page here:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/home-loan-articles/real-estate-terminology/

  • Lion

    How will banks consider an application to buy an ACT property then since it’s leasehold?

  • Hi Lion,
    Despite being leasehold, a Canberra property will generally be treated the same as any other property elsewhere. This means, you can borrow up to 95% of the property value or 105% if you have a guarantor. Normal bank policy and lending restrictions will apply. If you’d like to learn about this in detail, please check out the ACT leashold mortgage page:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/property-types/act-leasehold-canberra-property/

  • Tyrone Somerville

    Hi I’m wanting to purchase a boat shed in Hobart on Crown Land lease hold (25years) would it possible? Most brokers I’ve talked too say it’s not.

  • Hi Tyrone,
    Unfortunately this would be very difficult. Crown leasehold is ok in the ACT and rarely for other properties in other states. I’d recommend that you contact the business banking division of one of the major banks as that is your best chance of approval.