Find and compare construction home loans

Showing home loans based on a loan of
$
with a deposit of
Advertised Rate

3.74

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

3.78

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$935

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 95%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

1.95

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

3.54

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

3.58

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$885

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

1.95

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.09

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.09

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,285

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 60%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

4.38

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.08

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.39

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$520

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 90%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.83

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.19

% p.a

Fixed - 2 years

Comparison Rate*

3.09

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,299

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 95%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.38

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.79

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

3.19

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,390

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.40

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.59

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.64

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,359

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.81

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.44

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.45

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,337

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.38

/ 5
Go to site
More details

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Home loan lenders we compare at RateCity

Learn more about home loans

What is a construction loan?

Simply put, a construction loan is borrowing money to build a home or investment property. Construction loans can sometimes also be used to pay for major renovations to existing properties.

Unless you already own the plot of land, your loan will need to cover its purchase price, plus the estimated cost of construction.

Just like a typical mortgage, your lender will want to be confident that the value of the property will be enough to secure the loan, based on its Loan to Value Ratio or LVR. Before your application can be approved, the lender will estimate what the value of the property will be once construction is complete, and use this to work out the mortgage’s LVR.

A construction loan will often give you a short loan term – generally around a year – to complete the build.

When the build is finished, you’ll switch to a more typical mortgage, sometimes called the “end loan”, to pay off the remaining construction costs and value of the land. You may also have the option to refinance your mortgage at the end of the construction period.

How are construction loans different from typical mortgages?

In a standard home loan, you’ll receive the money you need to buy a house and land at the start of the loan term as one lump sum. You’ll then spend the remaining loan term paying back the money you borrowed (the principal) plus interest. 

In a construction loan, the money you borrow is typically drawn down in stages as the build proceeds. So instead of receiving the money as one lump sum, you’ll draw down just what you need to lay the foundation, then to build the frame, and so on until the house is built.

Construction loans are often interest-only loans while the house is being built. Plus, interest will only be charged on the money you’ve drawn down so far, and not on the total principal. This can help to minimise your payments until construction is complete, whereupon the loan will either revert to a principal and interest loan, or you’ll need to refinance.

How does a construction loan compare to other mortgage offers?

Construction loan interest rates are likely to be higher than those of a typical mortgage. This is because the lender doesn't have a tangible asset to secure the loan; just something that’s expected to be constructed. It's hard for a lender to value this, as property prices in the neighbourhood could fall, or the builder could do a bad job.

Banks and other financial institutions may be wary of providing this type of loan, so it’s important that everyone involved is confident that the project will succeed.

What do you need for a construction loan?

  • A budget: Your lender will need to know you can not only afford the repayments during construction, but also when you revert or refinance the loan once the house is built.
  • A construction plan: Before they will approve your construction loan, your lender will want the builder’s qualifications, detailed specifications for the building, including what materials will be used, and a timescale.
  • A deposit: You may only need a smaller deposit to start construction (sometimes as little as 5% of the projected property value), however once the project is complete and you revert to a more typical mortgage, you may need to make up a deposit of 20% or more to avoid being charged Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).
  • A good credit rating: Your history of borrowing and repaying money may be a factor when the lender decides whether or not to approve your loan application.

What are the risks of construction loans?

Construction projects can fall behind schedule, sometimes due to poor weather conditions, sometimes due to a builder not adhering to the project timetable. Delays can cost you money, so consider tying up everything contractually as tightly as you can, including penalty clauses for delays.

Payment stages in a construction loan:

  1. Slab: This amount is for building the foundation of your home, including the base, plumbing and waterproofing. This can be around 10 per cent of the total amount.
  2. Frame: This phase is where your builder will focus on constructing the ‘frame’ of your home including the windows, roofing and some brickwork. This can be around 15 per cent of the total amount.
  3. Lock up: This is usually around 35 per cent of the loan and covers the elements that are needed to ‘lock up’ your home. This can include external walls, doors and insulation.
  4. Fixing: Shelving, kitchen, bathroom cabinets, tiles, cladding and all other internal fixtures and fixings are included in this stage, and can make up around 20 per cent of the contract.
  5. Completion: As the name suggests, this is payment stages covers the completion of the building contract. Around 15 per cent of your loan will cover this, and includes all final installation pieces, including building property fences, cleaning, painting etc.

What are owner-builder mortgages?

An owner-builder mortgage works a lot like a construction loan, except rather than hiring a builder to complete the project, you handle it yourself as a DIY project. 

Owner-builder loans are more likely to have stricter eligibility criteria, such as requiring larger deposits of 40% or more, or charging higher interest rates and fees. This is because most banks consider owner-builder loans riskier than other construction loans, as they can’t be as confident that you’ll be able to successfully complete the project to a professional standard (unless you are also a qualified and licensed builder). 

Frequently asked questions

What is a construction loan?

A construction loan is loan taken out for the purpose of building or substantially renovating a residential property. Under this type of loan, the funds are released in stages when certain milestones in the construction process are reached. Once the building is complete, the loan will revert to a standard principal and interest mortgage.

What is a building in course of erection loan?

Also known as a construction home loan, a building in course of erection (BICOE) loan loan allows you to draw down funds as a building project advances in order to pay the builders. This option is available on selected variable rate loans.

How do I apply for a home improvement loan?

When you want to renovate your home, you may need to take out a loan to cover the costs. You could apply for a home improvement loan, which is a personal loan that you use to cover the costs of your home renovations. There is no difference between applying for this type of home improvement loan and applying for a standard personal loan. It would be best to check and compare the features, fees and details of the loan before applying. 

Besides taking out a home improvement loan, you could also:

  1. Use the equity in your house: Equity is the difference between your property’s value and the amount you still owe on your home loan. You may be able to access this equity by refinancing your home loan and then using it to finance your home improvement.  Speak with your lender or a mortgage broker about accessing your equity.
  2. Utilise the redraw facility of your home loan: Check whether the existing home loan has a redraw facility. A redraw facility allows you to access additional funds you’ve repaid into your home loan. Some lenders offer this on variable rate home loans but not on fixed. If this option is available to you, contact your lender to discuss how to access it.
  3. Apply for a construction loan: A construction loan is typically used when constructing a new property but can also be used as a home renovation loan. You may find that a construction loan is a suitable option as it enables you to draw funds as your renovation project progresses. You can compare construction home loans online or speak to a mortgage broker about taking out such a loan.
  4. Look into government grants: Check whether there are any government grants offered when you need the funds and whether you qualify. Initiatives like the HomeBuilder Grant were offered by the Federal Government for a limited period until April 2021. They could help fund your renovations either in full or just partially.  

What is a secured home loan?

When the lender creates a mortgage on your property, they’re offering you a secured home loan. It means you’re offering the property as security to the lender who holds this security against the risk of default or any delays in home loan repayments. Suppose you’re unable to repay the loan. In this case, the lender can take ownership of your property and sell it to recover any outstanding funds you owe. The lender retains this hold over your property until you repay the entire loan amount.

If you take out a secured home loan, you may be charged a lower interest rate. The amount you can borrow depends on the property’s value and the deposit you can pay upfront. Generally, lenders allow you to borrow between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of the property value as the loan. Often, you’ll need Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) if the deposit is less than 20 per cent of the property value. Lenders will also do a property valuation to ensure you’re borrowing enough to cover the purchase. 

What is a draw down?

The transfer of money from a lending institution to a borrower. In a typical home loan, the funds are drawn down all at once in order to buy the property. In a construction loan, the money is drawn down in several stages to pay the builders as they progress through each phase of the project. In a line of credit loan, you can draw down money up to a limit based on your loan’s available equity.

How much deposit do I need for a home loan from ANZ?

Like other mortgage lenders, ANZ often prefers a home loan deposit of 20 per cent or more of the property value when you’re applying for a home loan. It may be possible to get a home loan with a smaller deposit of 10 per cent or even 5 per cent, but there are a few reasons to consider saving a larger deposit if possible:

  • A larger deposit tells a lender that you’re a great saver, which could help increase the chances of your home loan application getting approved.
  • The more money you pay as a deposit, the less you’ll have to borrow in your home loan. This could mean paying off your loan sooner, and being charged less total interest.
  • If your deposit is less than 20 per cent of the property value, you might incur additional costs, such as Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

Can I take a personal loan after a home loan?

Are you struggling to pay the deposit for your dream home? A personal loan can help you pay the deposit. The question that may arise in your mind is can I take a home loan after a personal loan, or can you take a personal loan at the same time as a home loan, as it is. The answer is that, yes, provided you can meet the general eligibility criteria for both a personal loan and a home loan, your application should be approved. Those eligibility criteria may include:

  • Higher-income to show repayment capability for both the loans
  • Clear credit history with no delays in bill payments or defaults on debts
  • Zero or minimal current outstanding debt
  • Some amount of savings
  • Proven rent history will be positively perceived by the lenders

A personal loan after or during a home loan may impact serviceability, however, as the numbers can seriously add up. Every loan you avail of increases your monthly installments and the amount you use to repay the personal loan will be considered to lower the money available for the repayment of your home loan.

As to whether you can get a personal loan after your home loan, the answer is a very likely "yes", though it does come with a caveat: as long as you can show sufficient income to repay both the loans on time, you should be able to get that personal loan approved. A personal loan can also help to improve your credit score showing financial discipline and responsibility, which may benefit you with more favorable terms for your home loan.

What are the features of home loans for expats from Westpac?

If you’re an Australian citizen living and working abroad, you can borrow to buy a property in Australia. With a Westpac non-resident home loan, you can borrow up to 80 per cent of the property value to purchase a property whilst living overseas. The minimum loan amount for these loans is $25,000, with a maximum loan term of 30 years.

The interest rates and other fees for Westpac non-resident home loans are the same as regular home loans offered to borrowers living in Australia. You’ll have to submit proof of income, six-month bank statements, an employment letter, and your last two payslips. You may also be required to submit a copy of your passport and visa that shows you’re allowed to live and work abroad.

Why does Westpac charge an early termination fee for home loans?

The Westpac home loan early termination fee or break cost is applicable if you have a fixed rate home loan and repay part of or the whole outstanding amount before the fixed period ends. If you’re switching between products before the fixed period ends, you’ll pay a switching break cost and an administrative fee. 

The Westpac home loan early termination fee may not apply if you repay an amount below the prepayment threshold. The prepayment threshold is the amount Westpac allows you to repay during the fixed period outside your regular repayments.

Westpac charges this fee because when you take out a home loan, the bank borrows the funds with wholesale rates available to banks and lenders. Westpac will then work out your interest rate based on you making regular repayments for a fixed period. If you repay before this period ends, the lender may incur a loss if there is any change in the wholesale rate of interest.

What is a loan-to-value ratio (LVR)?

A loan-to-value ratio (otherwise known as a Loan to Valuation Ratio or LVR), is a calculation lenders make to work out the value of your loan versus the value of your property, expressed as a percentage.   Lenders use this calculation to help assess your suitability for a home loan, and whether you need to pay lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI). As a general rule, most banks will require you to pay LMI if your loan-to-value ratio is 80 per cent or more.   LVR is worked out by dividing the loan amount by the value of the property. If you are looking for a quick ball-park estimate of LVR, the size of your deposit is a good indicator as it is directly proportionate to your LVR. For instance, a loan with an LVR of 80 per cent requires a deposit of 20 per cent, while a 90 per cent LVR requires 10 per cent down payment. 

LOAN AMOUNT / PROPERTY VALUE = LVR%

While this all sounds simple enough, it is worth doing a more accurate calculation of LVR before you commit to buying a place as there are some traps to be aware of. Firstly, the ‘loan amount’ is the price you paid for the property plus additional costs such as stamp duty and legal fees, minus your deposit amount. Secondly, the ‘property value’ is determined by your lender’s valuation of the property, not the price you paid for it, and sometimes these can differ so where possible, try and get your bank to evaluate the property before you put in an offer.

When does Commonwealth Bank charge an early exit fee?

When you take out a fixed interest home loan with the Commonwealth Bank, you’re able to lock the interest for a particular period. If the rates change during this period, your repayments remain unchanged. If you break the loan during the fixed interest period, you’ll have to pay the Commonwealth Bank home loan early exit fee and an administrative fee.

The Early Repayment Adjustment (ERA) and Administrative fees are applicable in the following instances:

  • If you switch your loan from fixed interest to variable rate
  • When you apply for a top-up home loan
  • If you repay over and above the annual threshold limit, which is $10,000 per year during the fixed interest period
  • When you prepay the entire outstanding loan balance before the end of the fixed interest duration.

The fee calculation depends on the interest rates, the amount you’ve repaid and the loan size. You can contact the lender to understand more about what you may have to pay. 

How do you determine which home loan rates/products I’m shown?

When you check your home loan rate, you’ll supply some basic information about your current loan, including the amount owing on your mortgage and your current interest rate.

We’ll compare this information to the home loan options in the RateCity database and show you which home loan products you may be eligible to apply for.

 

How do I refinance my home loan?

Refinancing your home loan can involve a bit of paperwork but if you are moving on to a lower rate, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long-run. The first step is finding another loan on the market that you think will save you money over time or offer features that your current loan does not have. Once you have selected a couple of loans you are interested in, compare them with your current loan to see if you will save money in the long term on interest rates and fees. Remember to factor in any break fees and set up fees when assessing the cost of switching.

Once you have decided on a new loan it is simply a matter of contacting your existing and future lender to get the new loan set up. Beware that some lenders will revert your loan back to a 25 or 30 year term when you refinance which may mean initial lower repayments but may cost you more in the long run.

How much deposit do I need for a home loan from NAB?

The right deposit size to get a home loan with an Australian lender will depend on the lender’s eligibility criteria and the value of your property.

Generally, lenders look favourably on applicants who save up a 20 per cent deposit for their property This also means applicants do not have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). However, you may still be able to obtain a mortgage with a 10 - 15 per cent deposit.  

Keep in mind that NAB is one of the participating lenders for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which allows eligible borrowers to buy a property with as low as a 5 per cent deposit without paying the LMI. The Federal Government guarantees up to 15 per cent of the deposit to help first-timers to become homeowners.

Who has the best home loan?

Determining who has the ‘best’ home loan really does depend on your own personal circumstances and requirements. It may be tempting to judge a loan merely on the interest rate but there can be added value in the extras on offer, such as offset and redraw facilities, that aren’t available with all low rate loans.

To determine which loan is the best for you, think about whether you would prefer the consistency of a fixed loan or the flexibility and potential benefits of a variable loan. Then determine which features will be necessary throughout the life of your loan. Thirdly, consider how much you are willing to pay in fees for the loan you want. Once you find the perfect combination of these three elements you are on your way to determining the best loan for you. 

What is an interest-only loan? How do I work out interest-only loan repayments?

An ‘interest-only’ loan is a loan where the borrower is only required to pay back the interest on the loan. Typically, banks will only let lenders do this for a fixed period of time – often five years – however some lenders will be happy to extend this.

Interest-only loans are popular with investors who aren’t keen on putting a lot of capital into their investment property. It is also a handy feature for people who need to reduce their mortgage repayments for a short period of time while they are travelling overseas, or taking time off to look after a new family member, for example.

While moving on to interest-only will make your monthly repayments cheaper, ultimately, you will end up paying your bank thousands of dollars extra in interest to make up for the time where you weren’t paying off the principal.

Can I get a home renovation loan with bad credit?

If you're looking for funds to pay for repairs or renovations to your home, but you have a low credit score, you need to carefully consider your options. If you already have a mortgage, a good starting point is to check whether you can redraw money from that. You could also consider applying for a new home loan. 

Before taking out a new loan, it’s good to note that lenders are likely to charge higher interest rates on home repair loans for bad credit customers. Alternatively, they may be willing to lend you a smaller amount than a standard loan. You may also face some challenges with getting your home renovation loan application approved. If you do run into trouble, you can speak to your lender and ask whether they would be willing to approve your application if you have a guarantor or co-signer. You should also explain the reasons behind your bad credit rating and the steps that you’re taking to improve it. 

Consulting a financial advisor or mortgage broker can help you understand your options and make the right choice.

What are the pros and cons of no-deposit home loans?

It’s no longer possible to get a no-deposit home loan in Australia. In some circumstances, you might be able to take out a mortgage with a 5 per cent deposit – but before you do so, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons.

The big advantage of borrowing 95 per cent (also known as a 95 per cent home loan) is that you get to buy your property sooner. That may be particularly important if you plan to purchase in a rising market, where prices are increasing faster than you can accumulate savings.

But 95 per cent home loans also have disadvantages. First, the 95 per cent home loan market is relatively small, so you’ll have fewer options to choose from. Second, you’ll probably have to pay LMI (lender’s mortgage insurance). Third, you’ll probably be charged a higher interest rate. Fourth, the more you borrow, the more you’ll ultimately have to pay in interest. Fifth, if your property declines in value, your mortgage might end up being worth more than your home.

How long does ANZ take to approve a home loan?

The process of applying for a home loan usually stays the same across all lenders. On the other hand, the time it takes for a lender to approve the home loan differs from lender to lender. When it comes to ANZ, it takes anywhere between 15 to 18 business days to approve a home loan from the day of the application to approval. This timeframe is highly dependent on the credibility and availability of your documentation. You can apply for an ANZ home loan in two ways; a Quick Start home loan application or a full online application.

If you opt for the Quick Start home loan option, you’ll need to fill out a form with basic details. During this stage, you don’t need to add any supporting information. An ANZ representative will then call you within 48 hours. The representative will help take your application forward, including assessing all relevant information, documentation and conducting a credit check.

You can also submit your entire home loan application with ANZ online by filling out a comprehensive form with all the information and documentation needed.

Once ANZ has conducted the preliminary checks, you’ll be informed of the pre-approved amount they’re willing to offer. Based on this amount, you can set a budget for your property search and make sure you stay inside your budget. Pre-approval will last for three months but can be extended by applying with ANZ if you don’t find a property. But it’s best to find a property as soon as possible as ANZ may decide to change the amount if your financial situation changes.

After you find a property and have your offer accepted, ANZ may send an assessor to the property to verify it’s value. If everything is per their terms and conditions, ANZ will finalise your home loan’s approval and release the funds.

When do mortgage payments start after settlement?

Generally speaking, your first mortgage payment falls due one month after the settlement date. However, this may vary based on your mortgage terms. You can check the exact date by contacting your lender.

Usually your settlement agent will meet the seller’s representatives to exchange documents at an agreed place and time. The balance purchase price is paid to the seller. The lender will register a mortgage against your title and give you the funds to purchase the new home.

Once the settlement process is complete, the lender allows you to draw down the loan. The loan amount is debited from your loan account. As soon as the settlement paperwork is sorted, you can collect the keys to your new home and work your way through the moving-in checklist.