Looking to buy a studio apartment and need finance? It may be easier than you think!

How much can I borrow?

  • Less than 18m²: There’s no lender that can accept a property less than 18 m² as security for a home loan.
  • 18 m² to 40m²: You can borrow up to 80% of the property value on a studio apartment home loan.
  • 40 m² to 50m²: You can borrow up to 90% of the property value. You may be able to borrow up to 95% of the property value if you’re in a strong financial position.
  • More than 50m²: You can borrow up to 95% of the property value.
  • Low doc: Unfortunately for properties under 40 m² there are no lenders that can assist with a low doc loan. Low doc loans are available for properties that are 40 m² and above.
  • Guarantor: You won’t need a deposit if your parents can secure your mortgage with a property they own.
  • Discounts: Competitive professional package and basic loan discounts are available.

Please note that the above sizes are in meters squared and are exclusive of balconies and car spaces, referring to the internal living area of the unit.

What is a studio apartment?

Banks define a studio apartment as any unit that doesn’t have a wall separating the bedroom from the living areas / kitchen. Unlike other property types, a studio apartment has a bathroom and usually a small kitchenette.

Generally, a studio apartment is very small, often less than 40 m² and can even be as small as 25 m².

They are also known as bachelor apartments, bedsitter units, bedsits or 1 bedroom apartments.

Note that 1 bedroom units that have a separate bedroom to the rest of the living areas and that are over 50 m² can be considered for normal home loans and not necessarily a studio apartment home loan.

The unit size is everything!

Every lender has their own guidelines as to the minimum unit size that they’ll accept. Typically, most lenders won’t accept units that don’t have an internal living area (excluding balconies & car spaces) of 50 m².

We have lenders that can consider smaller properties, depending on the percentage of the property value that you need to borrow.

In addition to this, a one bedroom unit is seen as a lower risk than a studio apartment. This is because lenders believe having a wall between the bedroom and the living area makes a unit more marketable.

How can I borrow over 80% for a unit under 40m²?

An alternative way to borrow over 80% is with a guarantor home loan. Because the lender has your parent’s property additional security, they can consider lending 100% of the purchase price.

Why are the banks so conservative?

Australian lenders believe that a small unit is an unusual property and that there are less potential buyers that would be interested in such a property. As a result, they believe that a studio apartment (which is usually a small property) may take longer to sell than an ordinary unit.

In our opinion, this is an outdated policy as a studio apartment for a home is becoming increasingly popular.

Who buys a studio apartment?

Many young Australians prefer to live on their own in units from 25 m² ranging to 30 m² for a studio apartment and 30 m² to 40 m² for a smaller 1 bedroom unit.

The average household size has been shrinking and more people prefer to live in a block with facilities such as a swimming pool, gym or sauna which are often a feature of studio apartments.

In particular, young men living in the CBD often don’t spend much time in their apartment at all. For this reason, a small kitchenette with a microwave, a bed & a bathroom is all that they need.

Investing in a studio apartment

Many investors typically like to buy a studio apartment and rent it out. The rent received from the apartment is usually quite significant, especially if it’s situated in an inner city area.

Investors are attracted to areas such as Darlinghurst in Sydney, the Docklands in Melbourne or Southbank in Brisbane & Melbourne.

Advantages of buying this property type

A studio apartment can be a very appealing property type for many individuals. Some positive aspects of buying a studio apartment are that:

  • It’s cheaper than a regular sized city unit.
  • It’s usually close to the city.
  • Generally, re-sale is easy because they high demand accomodation.
  • If you’re investing, they have high rental return.

Disadvantages of buying this property type

Some negative aspects of buying a studio apartment are that:

  • It can be a noisy living complex.
  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) can sometimes be high.
  • It has a very small living space.
  • Often, there are many levies and fees associated with living in a studio complex that has extra amenities.

Apply for a studio apartment home loan today!

If you’d like to purchase a studio apartment to live in or invest, please contact us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form. Our specialist mortgage brokers know which banks will approve your mortgage. Speak to us today!

  • Samantha

    I’m staying rent-free with my parents in Bronte. I want to invest in a studio apartment in Chippendale, can I use my parents as a guarantor for the purchase?

  • Hi Samantha,

    If your parents have enough equity in their property you can use your parent’s property as a guarantee and borrow upto 105% of the purchase property value. You could have more info on this at https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/guarantor-home-loans/

    However please note the size of the apartment as the lenders are more cautious with lending to small apartments.

  • Avery

    We want to buy a studio apartment priced $270k-$310k and have savings of around $15k. Our combined income is $93,500 per year. We have a car loan paying off $169.00 per week and credit card limit of $3,000 with nothing owing. We qualify to borrow, don’t we?

  • Hello Avery,

    By the looks of things, it does seem like you can qualify to borrow, however, there can always be a couple of ‘potential credit issues’ that the banks identify, that can hamper your chances of approval. As long as the apartment size is larger than 18 m² and you can meet all standard bank lending criteria, you should not have much problem qualifying. Please call 1300 889 743 to discuss your situation and loan needs with one of our expert studio apartment loan specialists.

  • April787

    For a studio apartment home loan, my friends suggested a few banks out of which I narrowed them down to two. Which should I go with – ING or AMP?

  • Hey there,

    We have expert reviews on both ING bank as well as AMP bank so you can check out both of their strengths as well as their drawbacks to get a better idea yourself.
    Here’s the link to ING’s review:
    Here’s the link to AMP’s review:

  • Marty

    Hi, Looking for a loan for a 28sqm studio value approx $140k, would be looking to put at least 25% down – possible? 2x permantnent professionals.

  • Blues

    If I go guarantor, when would it be best to remove my parents from the loan?

  • Hi Blues, how much you owe matters when removing a guarantor. You may be able to remove the guarantee at 90% LVR but it’s usually best to wait until you’ve paid off your loan to 80%. This way, you can potentially save thousands by avoiding LMI, you may qualify for a lower interest rate, and it would be a simpler process with the paperwork too. Please check out the “Removing a guarantor” page if you’d like to learn more:

  • Earl

    So any sized studio apartment is acceptable for an investment loan?

  • Hey Earl,
    Generally, the property must have a living area of more than 50m², must be in a good condition and located in a high demand location (major city or town with more than 10,000 people).

  • Emily Reid

    I am a developer currently designing small affordable apartments and don’t want any presales to fall through due to funding issues. So is the minimum 40m2 or 50m2 for investors of 1 bed apartments?

  • Hi Emily,
    As a general rule:
    Less than 18m2 – Cannot be financed
    18m2 – 40m2 – 80% LVR max
    40m2 + – 95% LVR
    This is the internal area excluding balconies and car spaces.
    In reality it’s a little more complex than that. If you build them to all have an internal area >40m2 then you should be fine.

  • Isabella

    I’m interested in buying a studio apartment in Brisbane CBD of 45 sqm. But I lately got to realise that my borrowing depends on the size of the apartment, what is the reason behind this?

  • Hi Isabella,
    It is due to the possible reason that lenders think the small sized apartments are an unusual property and there are less potential buyers that would be interested in such a property. Thus, they believe that a studio apartment may take longer to sell than an ordinary unit. So, they tend to lend less to small-sized apartments. Please contact us to find out which lenders lend the most for studio apartments.

  • Jenna Wayne

    I am a new immigrant and graduate. I want to buy a 320k, 38sqm 2 bedrooms apartment in melbourne cbd. I worked 8 months with annual salary of 45k. My parents can gift me 90k, so can I borrow 230k to buy this apartment with my low annual salary and 8 month working length? I heard the bank may only lend to people who have at least 2 years working experience.

  • Hi Jenna,
    Yes we can assist with this. Most lenders do require a longer work history however some of our lenders can consider your study to count as employment.
    Only one or two lenders can consider a 38m2 apartment. However I’ve never seen a 2br apartment that small, usually a 2br apartment is over 50m2 and a studio or 1br apartment can be below 40m2.
    Also your visa status may be important as Victoria has a foreign citizen stamp duty which can increase the cost of buying. If you are a permanent resident then you won’t pay this in most cases.

  • Nelson

    Hi, I have purchased a 3 bedroom apartment in pagewood nsw for almost 1.5 million 2 years ago for an apartment size of more than 100 square meter. I am a foreign citizen and I dont hold any PR status, but I travel very frequently to Australia due to my works. I have obtained FIRB when purchasing the apartment and also have paid 10% during the initial stage. The apartment shall be completed before end of 2018, and I shall like to check, how many percent that I can borrow and at what interest rate ? What documentations are required ? I own companies in Singapore and Hong Kong. If possible, I wanna to have option of finishing / paying the mortgage without any penalty in the short future. Thanks, Nelson

  • Hi Nelson,
    As a foreign investor the choices for loans are quite limited. We can typically help you with a rate approx 6.99% – 7.99% and with fees of approx 4% to set up the loan. You can likely borrow 60% of the property value. There’s more information here https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreigner-mortgage/

  • Illahy

    I’m planning to buy a studio apartment in Melbourne CBD as an investment property. I don’t have enough deposit so I was talking with my parents for a guarantee. Is it possible?

  • Yes Illahy, you can get a guarantor loan to invest in a studio apartment. Please note that the apartment must have a living area of more than 50m², must be in a good condition and located in a high demand location (major city or town with more than 10,000 people).

  • carol

    I found a 28m2 studio apartment for $330,000 in Ultimo and have $30,000 in savings. The banks aren’t agreeing to lend me $300,000 for the purchase. Is there any way I could purchase the apartment?

  • Yes Carol, you can only borrow up to 80% of the property value for a space measured between 18m2 and 40m2. It seems like you only have a little over 13% of the purchase price as a deposit. Can you come up with a larger deposit? If not, could your parents provide a non-refundable deposit to cover the 7% shortfall? Or, you can borrow 100% of the property value using your parents as your guarantor. You can find out how your parents can help you with your home loan on our guarantor home loan page https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/guarantor-home-loans/.

  • Sheela

    Can I buy a studio apartment as an investment property and obtain a mortgage?

  • Yes, you can invest in a studio apartment. Some lenders will accept the property and lend to you as well. However, please note that the property must have a living area of more than 50 m2, must be in good condition and located in a high demand location (major city or town with more than 10,000 people).

  • Mary

    Hi, I have 40k savings and am looking at buying a 33m2 apartment however it is going for 315k. I’ve applied for a loan but it has been rejected based on the size of the home. My parents have multiple properties that are extremely valuable, theoretically, if our family lawyer wrote up a contract ensuring that in any instance that the apartment has to be seized, an investment property would take the place of the initial 315k property. Is this a common occurrence or will I just have to wait out until I have a minimum of 63k in my savings account?

  • Hi Mary,
    Usually, any units under 40 m² are hard to finance and almost all banks lend only 80% for such properties. Luckily, few lenders consider lending 100% of the purchase price in case of a guarantor home loan as they have your parent’s property additional security and you don’t need to wait to save the extra amount even for the property that you’re looking to buy. Call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/ and find out which lenders provide such home loans.

  • Smokey

    Are banks more hesitant to lend money for a studio apartment? Why is this? What are banks worried about?

  • Many lenders have a policy that a property must be over 40m2 or even 50m2 before they will consider lending for it. Some also say that there must be a wall between the bedroom and the rest of the apartment or they do not allow shared laundry facilities which are common with studio apartments. Where lenders do consider studio apartments they tend to lend a maximum of 80% of the purchase price, although there are some cases where we can help someone to borrow more. The banks are worried that there is a more limited resale market for studio apartments. We don’t necessarily think this is the case but banks rely heavily on macro or high-level data rather that a speculative investing perspective.