What are warehouse conversions?

Older warehouses are often converted into trendy apartments by developers and then sold to the public. Some prominent examples of this style of building are the Sydney Woolstores conversion in Ultimo / Pyrmont or the stylish Leicester House office conversion in Flinders Lane in Melbourne.

Although the apartments are often trendy, they have large open plan living expenses that may be difficult to heat and to furnish so they do not suit every buyer. Warehouse conversions are also known as industrial conversions or commercial property conversions. From a lenders point of view these are are the same style of building and the same lending policies generally apply.

How much can you borrow?

  • First home buyer: 95% of the property value (restrictions apply).
  • Investor: 95% of the property value.
  • Low doc: 80% of the property value.
  • Discounts: Competitive professional package and basic loan discounts are available.
  • Guarantor loans: Borrow up to 105% of the property value by using a guarantor.

Note: You may be able to borrow up to 95% for a converted warehouse on a case by case basis. The banks favour apartments where the conversion has been fully completed and that are in a good location with strong market demand.

Do you need help financing your purchase? Our mortgage brokers know which banks can approve a loan for the property that you are buying. Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online to find out how we can help you.

Why are the banks so conservative?

Converted warehouses may be in an industrial location, have design features that have limited appeal or have an inflated sales price due to overzealous marketing that all cause the banks to see them as a higher risk for a home loan.

In addition to this many of the converted properties are close to or in the CDB of a captial city. If the conversion contains more than 30 units then some lenders will consider it to be a high rise building and will limit the amount you can borrow. Thankfully, not all lenders have this policy and we are normally able to finance converted units in the inner city.

Finance is available for apartments that are very similar to standard apartments whereas strange or unique designs tend to have fewer lenders willing to use them as security for a mortgage. That being said, we are usually able to find a lender that can help as long as you are in a strong financial position and have a good income.

Finance your warehouse conversion

If you are interested in buying or refinancing a property that is a warehouse conversion then please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online and we can help you work out how much you can borrow. Our mortgage brokers have financed all sorts of properties that have been converted for residential use and so they can quickly find you a suitable lender with a competitive home loan.

  • Foxall

    What will the bank take into account when it comes to borrowing for a converted warehouse at max LVR?

  • Hi Foxall,

    Banks usually assess high LVR converted warehouse loans on a case by case basis. They will decide mainly based on whether or not the conversion has been fully completed, the location and condition of the property and how marketable it actually is. Your financial position and overall strength of the application is also taken into consideration.

  • Kansha

    I want to borrow at 85% LVR for this. I’m a first home buyer too so I’d like to learn about this in detail specific to my situation.

  • Hey Kansha,

    You can email us your situation details and loan needs to info@homeloanexperts.com.au or simply call 1300 889 743 to discuss directly with one of our expert warehouse conversion loan specialists.

  • Smith D.

    My dad owned a warehouse which has been converted to an apartment now. He still owns it and I will be buying it off him. Can I borrow 95% for this?

  • Hey Smith,

    Yes, you may be able to borrow up to 95% with this as banks favour apartments where the conversion has been fully completed provided that it’s in a good location with strong market demand. If you’d like to learn more about buying your parents’ property, you can check out this page:

  • Connie

    Hello Home Loan Experts, can you help in the calculation of my year to date income?

  • Hey Connie,
    You can simply input your details into our year to date calculator, which is similar to that used by lenders to work out your annual income from income you earned in part of a year. In most cases, the banks will calculate your income from both your payslip and group certificate and will use the lower of the two incomes in their assessment. Here’s the link to the calculator:

  • Scott

    Hi, how much are FIRB application fees when it comes to commercial property purchases?

  • Hello Scott,

    Generally, you’ll need to pay $25,000 to buy developed commercial land, $10,000 for vacant commercial land and either $25,000 for land used for mining, production, and exploration or $10,000 if you’re a foreign government investor and want to acquire at least 10% in the business.

  • Smokey

    I’m a first-time property buyer and I’m thinking about buying a studio apartment. I’m just not sure whether I should buy it as my home or as an investment. I’ve read studio units can be a good investment opportunity, especially in the Airbnb market. I’m just a bit concerned reading the reports of oversupply of small units.

  • Studio apartments are a great choice for first home buyers who are single. They’re very affordable and often in great locations.
    Investors have also done well by renting them out on Airbnb. Be careful of apartments with lifts, swimming pools, gyms and a concierge. The strata costs really throw out your budget.
    Foreign investors are the main type of borrowers struggling to get approved for a home loan in Australia. When you throw in small studio apartments, it’s almost impossible for them to qualify. It’s good news in a way because it means that it has created a more even playing field for Australian buyers to snap up new units.