Construction home loans - borrow up to 95% LVR | Finder

Construction loans and owner builder mortgages

A construction loan could help you unlock access to your dream home. Learn how construction loans work, and how to pay less interest while you build your new property.

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If you are looking to build your new home or investment property, you need a different type of home loan known as a construction loan. A construction loan may also suit you if you are making major renovations to an existing property. They are similar to regular loans, with a few key differences, as outlined below.

Greater Bank Great Rate Home Loan - Construction Loan (Owner Occupier, P&I)

3.66 % p.a.

variable rate

3.67 % p.a.

comparison rate

Construction Home Loan Offer

The Greater Bank Great Rate Home Loan - Construction Loan (Owner Occupier, P&I) offers a competitive variable interest rate and has a construction option for borrowers building their homes.

  • Interest rate of 3.66% p.a.
  • Comparison rate of 3.67% p.a.
  • Application fee of $0
  • Maximum LVR: 90%
  • Minimum borrowing: $30,000
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Compare home loans with construction options

*Note that while the loans below offer construction options, this may change the rates or fees displayed below.

Data updated regularly
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
Greater Bank Great Rate Home Loan
$0 p.a.
Fund the construction of your new family home with a very competitive variable interest rate. Available with a 10% deposit.
Heritage Bank Fixed Rate Home Loan
$8 monthly ($96 p.a.)
Get a partial offset account and the option to make interest-only repayments.
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan
$0 p.a.
A competitive variable interest rate loan with low fees. The establishment fee is waived if you borrow $150,000 or more.
Heritage Bank Discount Variable Home Loan
$0 p.a.
Family guarantee option available. Enjoy flexible repayments and a low minimum loan amount.
Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan
$395 p.a.
Build your new home with a variable interest rate and enjoy a 100% offset account. 10% deposit option available.
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan
$0 p.a.
A competitive variable interest rate loan with low fees. The establishment fee is waived if you borrow $150,000 or more.

Compare up to 4 providers

What is a construction loan?

A construction loan is a specific type of mortgage designed for people wanting to build a new home. Depending on the way a construction loan is set up, you may be able to purchase a vacant block of land first and then arrange to build on the land within a specified timeframe.

Construction loans aren't set up the same way as a regular mortgage. Instead, the lender considers the total amount you need to borrow in order to pay your builder, and then breaks down the full amount into separate payments called progress draws. These are percentages of the total building contract amount paid out of your mortgage funds to the builder throughout the construction process.

Learn more about the construction process

While progress draws are being made, the majority of lenders will only expect you to pay the interest due on the amounts that have been drawn. For instance:

  • The total house and land package value is $500,000
  • The land purchase price is $125,000
  • Your lender allows you to draw down $125,000 (25% of the total loan)
  • Therefore, you are now making repayments based on 25% of the total loan value
  • When construction of the property is due to commence, you builder requests $100,000
  • Your lender releases another draw down of $100,000 (20% of the total loan)
  • You have now drawn down 45% of the total loan
  • Therefore, you are now making repayments based on 45% of the total loan value

The more you borrow or draw down throughout the process, the higher your repayments become. Your full principal and interest payments won't begin until after the handover has taken place and you have received the keys to your new home, meaning you save on interest during the construction process.

Construction loans: 3 experts give their definitions of these loans

Owner builder mortgages

An owner builder mortgage is designed for those people who wish to build their own home without the help of a licensed builder. As banks and lenders use the property as security for your mortgage, many of them consider owner builder mortgages to be high risk. For this reason, many banks and lenders will not accept applications for these types of home loans.

Additionally, those lenders that do offer owner builder mortgages will usually limit the loan amount to 60% of the total land value and construction cost. The lender will take into account the value of the vacant land as part of the valuation total. However, you should note that the actual completed value of the home is rarely taken into account when factoring in the value of the security property with owner builders. Instead, the lender will look closely at the quotes provided to form the estimated cost of materials and labour required to complete the construction.

Who needs a construction loan?

Construction loans are suitable for any borrower intending to build a new home on a vacant block of land. This includes buying a house and land package from a licensed builder, or conducting major renovations to an existing home, such as adding new rooms.

Property developers for small scale developments may also use construction loans, but these might only be available if you're building under a certain number of properties. If you're building a larger amount of properties (usually over four) most lenders will consider this to be larger-scale development, which will require commercial finance instead.

What you need to consider about construction loans

Due to the inherent risks involved for the lender, construction home loans are normally only offered to borrowers who have very good credit histories. The eligibility criteria is much more stringent for construction home loan applicants than it is for borrowers applying for a more traditional home loan. The initial down payment that is required is usually quite significant, especially if the building lot is not of great value without a building on it. Most lenders will want at least 20% of the total cost put down as a deposit.

But it's not just the cost you need to consider before choosing to build. There are a number of other factors you should be aware of when choosing a construction home loan:

  • Do I need to buy a house and land package to get a construction loan?

You don't technically need to buy a house and land package from one builder or developer to get a construction loan. You may have already purchased a vacant block of land earlier using a regular home loan. It's only when you sign a building contract with your licensed builder that you'll need a construction loan. Keep in mind that you will end up with two separate mortgages this way.

  • Do I have to use a licensed builder to construct my home?

The vast majority of banks and lenders will prefer that you choose a licensed builder to construct your home before they extend a construction loan for you. However, there are some lenders that will allow you to build your own home as an owner builder. This is ideal if you're a qualified tradesperson or if you have a building license of your own, but an owner builder loan isn't suited to the faint of heart.

  • What clauses are involved with a construction loan?

In some states of Australia you are able to include a finance clause when you sign your contract for your vacant block of land. This type of clause is quite common when purchasing vacant land or even an established home via private treaty sale (not at auction), where you're able to insert a clause that says "Subject to Finance".

The ability to include a finance clause like this gives you several benefits:

  • It helps to protect you against being forced to take out finance that isn't suited to you.
  • It allows you to get out of your contractual obligation if your finance application doesn't get approved for whatever reason.
  • It removes your block of land from the market while the agent waits to hear about your finance approval.
  • It gives you time to obtain your finance.

You may also be able to include specific dates and other information that is relevant to your clause. For example, you can add that your clause is subject to finance being approved with a specific lender for no more than a specific interest rate and that your finance approval needs to be received by a specific date. Remember, in this instance your finance approval is the full formal approval, or unconditional approval from your bank.

The primary reason for adding specific information like this is to protect you against having to accept finance that isn't right for you or your situation. So, if you've already received a pre-approval from your lender and you already know your interest rate, you can enter this information into your clause.

For example: This contract is subject to obtaining finance with Westpac at an interest rate no higher than 6.11% on or before 12th December.

If your finance clause is written this way, you have some backup in case your bank suddenly decides to decline your mortgage application at the last minute. After all, if you've simply written "Subject to Finance" and nothing else, you might suddenly find that the vendor can insist you accept any finance at ridiculous interest rates just to comply with the contract.

  • What if a building contract changes?

There are some cases where a lender will make a construction loan more expensive. This is due to how the contract price might go up after you get an amendment on your home prepared. This can especially be difficult because the builder will end up having to reassess the value of the loan from the top. However, you can do a few things in order to keep this from being a problem down the road.

  • Get your building contract completed and finalised before sending it to your lender.
  • Pay for any new changes to your construction with your own money. You could also ask your builder to reimburse you in the event that you got any discounts out of something.
  • Consult your lender if the changes are massive. You might need to wait a month for the lender to review the loan again.
  • Be sure to simplify your changes. This is so it will be easier for the bank to make changes and to keep from being delayed in the process.

How to choose a construction loan

Just like a regular home loan, the way you compare a construction loan will have an impact on the value you get out of it. Here's what you should compare:

  • Interest rates. You'll only be paying interest during the construction period, meaning the interest rate you receive will have an important bearing on the size of your repayments. Keep in mind that the advertised rate doesn't take into account the fees you will pay for the loan, so be sure to also look at the comparison rate, as this will have an impact on this.
  • Fees. Some construction loans will have extra fees which they'll charge to cover the costs of having a valuer check your property after each stage of the building is completed. Some home loans can also charge extra administration fees for construction loans, so you may need to factor this into the total cost of your home loan. These fees are in addition to regular upfront fees such as application costs, valuation fees and more.
  • Features. During the construction phase most features of your home loan will be unavailable, such as redraw and the ability to make additional repayments (this of course will depend on the particular loan), but it still pays to know what features you'll be able to use once the construction phase ends. Find out what features you want out of your home loan and then ensure you search for these during your comparison.
  • Construction terms. You'll want to confirm what construction terms your loan will offer, including how long you can build for using the loan and the process for drawing down and accessing funds.

Understanding the 5 steps of a construction loan

Once you've bought your land, decided on your plan and sorted out your finance, it's time to begin construction.

While a traditional home loan releases the full funds for your property purchase at settlement, a construction loan works a bit differently. Funds are paid in stages known as progress draws. These stages correspond to the progress of your home's construction.

1. Foundations and footings

At this stage of construction, the building site is cleared of any vegetation and debris, and is levelled. Footings for your house are installed and spaces are cut out for the site's plumbing.

During this time, the concrete slab for your house will be poured. After this, initial plumbing and waterproofing will be installed.

All in all, you can count on this stage of construction taking about two weeks as the concrete for your foundation is allowed to dry and cure.

At the completion of this stage of construction, your lender will make your first progress payment to your builder. This will generally be around 10% of the total funds for construction.

2. Frame-up and brickwork

At this stage, the framework, trusses, roof and windows will be constructed. If your home has brickwork, this will be partially done. Gutters and insulation will also go in at this stage, as will any conduits for plumbing or electrical work.

This stage is longer than the initial foundation stage and is likely to take up to four weeks.

At the completion of this stage, the second progress payment will be made. This payment will account for around 15–20% of the total construction funds.

3. Lock-up stage

At the end of the lock up stage, your home will be sealed and protected from the elements. During the lock-up stage of construction, doors and windows will be installed. All exterior walls will also be completed.

The lock-up stage can take up to four weeks.

At the completion of this stage, your lender will make the third progress draw payment to your builder. This is one of the most significant drawdowns, making up 20–35% of the total building funds.

4. Fit-out

At the fit-out stage of construction, all fixtures, fittings and appliances will be added. This means plumbing and electrical work is completed, gutters and downpipes are installed, skirting boards, cornices and architraves are added, kitchen benches and cupboards are put in and shower screens, mirrors, sinks, toilets and faucets are put in place.

By now your house is starting to look like a home. The fit-out stage is where a significant amount of the construction of your home takes place. This stage can take up to six weeks.

At the end of this stage, your lender will make the fourth progress payment to your builder. This will account for 20–30% of the total funds.

5. Practical completion

Once the practical completion stage is over, you'll have a finished house. It's during this time that your builder will work on the finishing touches, including painting, any final electrical or plumbing work, final installations of appliances and any other detailing.

At the end of this stage, which can take up to eight weeks, you'll do a final walkthrough of your property to identify any problems, and the builder will walk you through the property's features.

Your lender will also do a final inspection before disbursing the final progress drawdown. This will be around 10–15% of the total funds. After this stage, your construction home loan will also be converted into a traditional home loan.

Nevertheless, at the end of this final drawdown, you'll be able to move into your new home.

FAQs about construction loans

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49 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    SueApril 8, 2018

    Hello, we have bought a block with cash with another couple. There is no money owed at all by anyone. There are two couples, four people on the title. We plan to build two townhouses and subdivide the block in half. The property would temporarily be on two titles. My question is- I have approx half the cash needed for the build. We will need to apply for a construction loan to obtain the additional funds to build the home. Is it possible to obtain a construction loan for our townhouse whilst there are four names on the title. Both couples are building at the same time using the same builder. Plans have been drawn up together and been passed at council together.
    Thank you- I desperately need some suggestion about the best way to do this.

      Default Gravatar
      BalaMay 17, 2018

      It is possible to get separate loans for the construction for both couples and you both will be responsible for your own portion of the loan repayments, provided we use the same lender and the same builder to build both properties, cross collateral will be required. Both couples will need to be guarantors on loans ie Couple A will need to be Guarantors on couple B loan and vice versa. Thanking you. Bala

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMay 18, 2018Staff

      Hi Bala,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      The approval of your (and husband’s) separate construction loan will depend entirely on the lender based on their assessment of both of your overall financial situations, including but not limited to both your income, liabilities, assets, credit history, etc. In the case of guarantor loans, the lender will also assess if your guarantor also meets the criteria. Not sure though if you two can be a guarantor for each other’s loan. You can find a full guide on how a guarantor loan works.

      I suggest that you speak to a mortgage broker who can take your circumstances into account as they can find a suitable construction loan for you and your husband.


      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayApril 9, 2018Staff

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you for your question.

      It would be best to speak to all the persons whose names are on the title so they would know that you’ll be using the title to secure a loan. I would suggest that you speak to the lender directly as well about this so they can arrange the mortgage according to your situation. In any case, best to get a legal advice on this too to avoid future problems.

      Meantime, there are construction home loan brands listed above which you can contact with and discuss your options for a loan and your situation.


    Default Gravatar
    DionOctober 3, 2017

    Hi Finder!

    I am interested in buying land from an Estate, and once titles are received, build a house on top. What respective loans would I need to apply for to make this happen?


      Default Gravatar
      DanielleOctober 4, 2017

      Hi Dion,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      You are on the right page. You may review and compare the offers available on the table. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Enquire Now” button. And if you scroll down you’ll find more information regarding these types of loans so it should serve as a reference guide.

      I hope this helps.


    Default Gravatar
    KenJuly 7, 2017

    Hi Guys, I have purchased a property which I paid 20% deposit with a mortgage of $600K. I am currently drawing plans to build a new house on this block, I have $120K savings and need a further $450K to complete build, so total will be $1.05M. Will a bank lend us the 450K on existing mortgage to start building? Will they combine it once the build is complete? We will have no issue serving the size of the debt.
    Cheers Ken

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 11, 2017

      Hi Ken!

      Thanks for the comment. :)

      As long as your credit resources are able to meet the qualifications of the lenders, why not? As for combining the loans, usually it is not. You would have two separate mortgages if that happens, one regular home loan and another one for construction loan.

      If this interests you, please learn more about mortgage brokers and how they can help you.

      Hope this helps.


    Default Gravatar
    DavidMay 18, 2017

    I want to build a house to create equity and sell it. I have only $60k in savings, but would need double that to meet the 80% LVR of what I have in mind. Are there any lenders for residential investors like me who will lend against the completed value of the property? This would solve my problem of having less than 20% as a deposit.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMay 28, 2017Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your question.

      Kindly note that lenders that do offer owner builder mortgages will usually limit the loan amount to 60% of the total land value and construction cost. The lender will take into account the value of the vacant land as part of the valuation total. However, the actual completed value of the home is rarely taken into account when factoring in the value of the security property with owner builders.

      You may have to directly get in touch with the lenders listed on the page to confirm if they consider the completed value of the property in connection to your loan application.


    Default Gravatar
    LynNovember 4, 2016

    I own a block of land outright and wish to build a house on it. The house cost will be somewhere around 160K of which I have 80K. Therefore the construction loan I require would be for 80K approx. The problem I have is that I am an aged pensioner. (67 yo). Is it still possible to get a loan?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldNovember 4, 2016Staff

      Hello Lyn,

      Thank you for your question.

      There are possible options you may explore if you want to find home loans For pensioners. For eligibility requirements, some home loans will require you to meet certain eligibilities in order to take out that home loan. This may include a regular source of income, good credit history, and more. Pensioners in particular should compare the eligibility requirements of home loans because some may be more appropriate to apply for than others. Also, you may check pensioner loans if you wish to check other possible options.

      I hope that helps.


    Default Gravatar
    PatApril 18, 2016

    We wish to build a house on a block of land that we own. We are living in our present home which we have paid off and wish to do so until our new house is completed. We would like to get a construction loan to finance the building of the new house, then sell our present house to pay off the loan completely. The time frame we are looking at is around 12 months. Is it possible to do this with a construction loan paying interest only and how would the interest be calculated. We are looking at borrowing $700.00 to finance the build.

      Default Gravatar
      BelindaApril 19, 2016

      Hi Pat,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      This may be possible depending on the way that the construction loan is set up. Generally, the lender considers the total amount you need to borrow, and then breaks down the full amount into separate payments.

      While progress draws are being made, most lenders will only expect you to pay the interest due on the amounts that have been drawn. Your principal and interest repayments won’t normally start until after the handover has taken place.

      However, the structure of a construction loan and the way that the interest is calculated will depend on the lender’s individual criteria. It would be best to speak to a mortgage broker or to a lender directly to discuss the construction and loan terms.

      All the best,

    Default Gravatar
    ercarol5February 5, 2016

    i’m looking to get a construction loan for up to $700K at 95%; i have 5% savings towards the required amount above. i recntly settled on the land at 20% deposit and hoping that i could apply for the construction loan straight away as the house plan is ready and contract plus minimum deposit of 5% is also ready; what is my chance of success to raise the required loan amonut? i understand i’d need a LMI which can be stricter in assessment. my credit history is near perfect, apart from two recent dishonoured payment as a result of lack of fund in the account even though there’s evidence of good account balance for other linked account. thanks for your advise.

      Default Gravatar
      BelindaFebruary 5, 2016

      Hi Ercarol5,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Your qualification for a loan will depend on the lender’s eligibility criteria for your construction or owner-builder loan.

      Due to the inherent risk of construction loans, most lenders have more stringent criteria for this type of product and they generally only offer these loans to borrowers with good credit histories and those that are in a sound financial position.

      You can compare construction loans in the above table, where you’ll see that it is possible to apply for a construction loan with 95% loan-to-value ratio (LVR). As you mentioned, you will need to pay lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) which can be highly costly.

      Ultimately, the lender will review your income, assets, debts and any liabilities that you have in order to determine whether or not you can comfortably repay the loan. It would be best to contact your chosen lender directly, or to speak to a licensed mortgage broker. A broker can help you understand your financial position and they can leverage their panel of networks to find a lender that’s more inclined to review your application.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you.


    Default Gravatar
    BitiSeptember 7, 2015

    When do the lenders need deposit in land and construction loan? If I pay 5% of the land value when the bank takes the rest of the deposit for construction

      Default Gravatar
      BelindaSeptember 8, 2015

      Hi Biti,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      Generally, lenders require you to complete a 20% deposit for land and construction home loans but this will depend on the specific lender. In the comparison table above on this page, you can compare a range of brands and under “LVR” you can see how much each lender will let you borrow, and subsequently, the amount of deposit required.

      If you’d like to apply for one of these loans, you can click on the “go to site” button to be redirected to their website.

      Kind regards,

    Default Gravatar
    nicoleAugust 31, 2015

    We want to buy land in rural living area 3.3 acres and put water power septic and a shed its affordable but we have not much deposit what can we do thanks

      Default Gravatar
      BelindaSeptember 1, 2015

      Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      You can use the table on this page to compare a range of construction and owner-builder home loans. You might also be interested to read about vacant land home loans on this page where you can learn about some lenders that offer these types of loans.

      Please note that lenders generally take a conservative approach towards both construction and vacant land home loans and as a result you will generally need to save more for a deposit before you can be approved. As a rule of thumb, you should try to complete at least a 20% deposit.

      I recommend getting in touch with a licensed mortgage broker A broker can help you understand your financial position and they can leverage their panel of networks to find a lender that’s more inclined to review your application.

      Please make sure you carefully read over the eligibility requirements and terms and conditions and ensure you have organised the necessary documents before beginning the application.


    Default Gravatar
    constanceAugust 26, 2015

    I would like to build an inlaw suite attached to my daughters home. I want to borrow 60,000. My credit score is 600- is there a type of loan I am able to get – I would like a monthly payment no more than 500/mo 15 years-is this possible thanks constance

      Default Gravatar
      BelindaAugust 26, 2015

      Hi Constance,

      Thanks for your enquiry. is an online comparison website so we can’t provide individual financial advice or recommend specific home loans to you.

      However, above on this page you can compare a range of construction loans and you can click on the ‘go to site’ button to learn more about the features and terms of these loans. You can also fill out the form to speak with a mortgage broker to discuss your options.


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