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What is a mortgage registration fee?

Mark Bristow avatar
Mark Bristow
- 4 min read
What is a mortgage registration fee?

When you buy or refinance a property, there are some extra costs to budget for. As well as covering your lender’s upfront fees, there are government charges to consider, such as the mortgage registration fee, which covers the cost of adding the mortgage on your home to the land titles office in your state or territory.

Why is mortgage registration required?

Registering a mortgage with the government means that the physical property can officially serve as security for the home loan. If you default on your mortgage repayments, the lender can legally repossess and sell the property to recover the debt.

Registering the mortgage with the government also allows future buyers to check if there are any other claims, interest, or encumbrances on the property before they buy, using a simple title search. This reduces the buyer’s risk of ending up in a tricky legal situation where more than one party has a claim on a single property.

Also, when you finish paying a mortgage, such as when you sell a property or reach the end of a home loan’s term, you’ll also need to contact the land titles office to discharge the mortgage on the property. This will also require paying a fee.

Who pays the mortgage registration fee, and who is it paid to?

A property’s buyer pays the mortgage registration fee, typically on their purchase’s settlement day. The fee is paid to the land titles office of the state or territory government.

Keep in mind that the process of changing the owner of a property on the title deed is typically performed by a conveyancer or solicitor, as this is a legal process that can be complex. You’ll likely also need to budget for the solicitor or conveyancer’s fee when making your property purchase.

How much is a mortgage registration fee?

Mortgage registration fees typically cost somewhere between $100 and $200. The exact cost of your mortgage registration fee may vary depending on the state or territory where you and your property are located.

While mortgage registration fees don’t cost too much in comparison to some other home-buying expenses, such as stamp duty, it’s still one more expense to budget for when you’re buying a property or refinancing a mortgage. 

At the time of writing, you may pay the following for mortgage registration fees in different states and territories:

  • Australian Capital Territory: $166
  • New South Wales: $165.40
  • Northern Territory: $165
  • Queensland: $224.32
  • South Australia: $187
  • Tasmania: $152
  • Victoria: $128.50
  • Western Australia: $203

Because these fees may change in time, it’s worth checking with the Land Titles Office in your state or territory, or asking your solicitor or conveyancer what you could expect to pay.

What other fees and charges will you need to pay?

Some of the other fees and charges you may need to pay when purchasing a property include:

  • Upfront fees: Paid to your new lender to cover the admin cost of starting the home loan.
  • Discharge fees: If you’re refinancing with a new lender, this fee may be paid to your old lender to cover the admin cost of closing your old loan.
  • Break costs: If you’re refinancing a fixed rate home loan during the fixed term, you may need to pay break costs to your old lender.
  • Valuation fees: Covers the cost of sending a valuer to assess the value of the property being used to secure the mortgage.
  • Stamp duty: A state or territory government tax charged when property is purchased, based on the value of the property.
  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI): Charged by your lender if you’re buying a property with a deposit of less than 20% of the property value, or refining with less than 20% equity. The LMI policy covers the lender (and NOT you) against the risk that you may default on your mortgage repayments. Most lenders pass the cost of LMI on to borrowers - the less deposit or equity you have, the more the LMI may cost.  

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Product database updated 14 Jun, 2024

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.