Investment loans versus owner-occupier home loans

Rows of tiny housesYour goals and property strategy will determine the type of home loan you need.

When you’re comparing home loans, it’s easy to notice some distinctions between the products on offer, such as fixed rate versus variable rate or home loans packed with features versus no-frills products. But one of the most important distinctions is how you plan to use your home loan.

Home loans will vary substantially depending on whether you’re buying a property to live in or purchasing one as an investment.

Different rates

In the past, there was very little difference between owner-occupier and investor home loan rates. Lenders tended to treat both classes of borrowers as equal risk. This is no longer the case.

In 2014, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the body that regulates Australia’s banks, announced it would set a 10% cap on new investor lending. This meant banks had to reduce the proportion of new home loan business going to investors to 10% of their total home loans.

As a result of this change, lenders have tried to stem the tide of investment property borrowing, largely by lifting rates on property investment home loans. These days, there’s a significant gap between owner-occupier home loan rates and investor rates.

How significant? Currently, the lowest owner-occupier home loan rate on offer through the finder.com.au database is 3.54%. By contrast, the lowest investor rate on offer is 3.89%. This 35 basis point difference can make a big difference to the total cost of a loan.

Example

Say you have a $500,000 home loan for 30 years at 3.54%:

  • Monthly repayment = $2,256.40
  • Total loan cost over 30 years = $812,304.90

But if the rate on that loan increased to 3.89% things would look very different:

  • Monthly repayment = $2,355.48
  • Total loan cost over 30 years = $847,971.87
  • You'll end up paying $35,837.97 more

This being said, there are still attractive rates on offer for property investors, and some of the other features of investment home loans can help reduce the impact of higher rates.

Different criteria

Because of APRA’s clampdown on investment lending, many lenders have changed their criteria for property investors. This means the loans can be slightly more difficult to get than in the past.

Some lenders have changed the maximum loan-to-value ratio, or LVR, available to investors. LVR is the size of your home loan compared to the value of the property you’re buying. For instance, if you buy a property worth $500,000 with a home loan of $450,000, your LVR would be 90%.

Many lenders have reduced the maximum LVR they offer to investors to as low as 80%. This means you would need a 20% deposit to purchase a property. However, there are still lenders that offer property investment home loans with LVRs up to 95%.

In addition to changing LVRs, some lenders now require a more stringent examination of investors’ income and expenses. Some have wound back incentives available to property investors. And a few lenders have ceased lending to property investors altogether.

Different features

One of the main features commonly available to investors that is now rarely offered to owner-occupiers is interest-only repayments.

Repayments on a home loan are typically either principal and interest or interest-only. A principal and interest repayment means that a portion of every repayment is devoted to the interest while another portion is devoted toward the principal, or the original amount borrowed.

An interest-only repayment means that only the interest charges on the home loan are being repaid, so the amount you owe isn’t reduced. What is reduced, however, is the size of your monthly repayment.

For instance, if you had the 3.89% $500,000 investor home loan given in the example above, your principal and interest repayment of $2,355.48 would fall to $1,620.83 if you chose an interest-only repayment. This is a massive $734.65 difference in your monthly repayments.

Compare interest-only home loans

While interest-only repayments used to be commonly available to both investors and owner-occupiers, fewer lenders are willing to offer these repayment terms. Investors can access interest-only repayments if they’re able to provide justification for the reason they’re choosing these repayments instead of principal and interest repayments. However, it’s rare these days for owner-occupiers to be able to justify interest-only repayments.

This is because interest-only repayments can put borrowers in a risky situation. Lenders who offer interest-only repayments do so for a pre-determined period of time, usually up to five years. At the end of this term, your home loan repayments would revert to principal and interest. This would mean a significant rise in your monthly repayments. Meanwhile, you would not have actually reduced the amount you owe.

So why would investors choose interest-only repayments? The answer is because of the different way investment home loans are treated for tax purposes.

Different tax treatment

Because investors are using their property as an income-producing asset, it means any income they see from their investment is taxed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). It also means they can deduct any expenses incurred while generating that income.

Because of this, investment property home loans are treated differently by the ATO than owner-occupier home loans. For tax purposes, the interest on an investment property home loan is seen as a business expense. Therefore, all interest payments can be deducted from the property owner’s income at tax time.

Interest for an owner-occupier home loan, on the other hand, is not deductible.

This tax treatment is why some property investors choose an interest-only home loan. Paying only the interest maximises their tax deductible debt while minimising their outgoings.

Maximising your tax return as an investor

Summing it up

The way you use your property will ultimately dictate the type of home loan you need. If you’re a property investor, you may pay a bit more and need to save a bigger deposit in order to qualify for a home loan. However, with good rates still on offer and the favourable tax treatment given to property investors, putting your money in bricks and mortar can pay big dividends.

Rates last updated August 19th, 2018
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
3.89%
4.24%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Sharp interest only package rate
Fix your rate and minimise repayments for 2 years with this interest-only investor mortgage.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Special discounted interest rate
Get a discounted, low-fee investor loan from a convenient online lender. 20% deposit required.
3.98%
3.98%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Requires a 30% deposit
Investors can get a 100% offset account and a low rate if they have a big deposit. 100% online application process.
3.91%
3.92%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Add an offset account for $10 a month
Investors can go from application to approval in as little as 20 minutes with this innovative online lender.
3.97%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Competitive investment package loan
Package your owner occupied loan with investment loan and receive a discounted investment rate. 100% offset account included.
4.09%
4.87%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
10% deposit option available
Buy your investment property and set your repayments for the first year. Available in QLD, NSW and ACT only.
3.99%
5.17%
$600
$0 p.a.
90%
Available with a 10% deposit
Competitive rates for fixed for 3 years with redraw facility.
3.93%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Competitive investor rate with plenty of features
This investment loan keeps fees low, has a sharp interest rate and comes with a 100% offset account.
3.99%
4.14%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Competitive investor mortgage for borrowers with a 30% deposit.
4.29%
4.31%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Flexible, low fee mortgage
Investors will pay no application or ongoing fees for this interest-only loan.
4.08%
4.09%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Low-fee investor mortgage with a partial offset account. 10% deposit option available.
4.18%
4.18%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Competitive investment mortgage
Investors get a 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this loan from an innovative online lender.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Save on fees with this investor mortgage
Investors with a 30% deposit can get this low rate loan to fund their property portfolio.
4.29%
4.31%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Simple, flexible investment product
A simple, variable rate investor loan from an online lender that keeps fees to a minimum.
3.99%
4.62%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Flexible fixed investment loan
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
4.24%
4.68%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Investor loan with a small deposit option
Fix your investment repayments for 1 year. You can get this loan with a 10% deposit. Available in QLD, NSW and ACT only.
4.13%
4.14%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Available with a 10% deposit
Access a fee-free offset account and a special interest rate for investors.
4.14%
3.96%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Low fee investor mortgage
Investors can go from application to full approval in as little as 20 minutes with this innovative online lender.
4.18%
4.19%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Line of credit for investors
Investors can easily access their equity using BPAY, a debit Master Card or cheque book with this interest-only line of credit.
4.31%
3.95%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Rapid online application process
A variable interest-only loan for investors. Fast application, low fees, optional offset account. 100% online lender.
4.14%
4.17%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Competitive rate for investors
Investors can enjoy flexible repayment options and pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.94%
3.92%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Add an offset account for $10 a month
Lock in your interest rate for 2 years and enjoy flexibility, an optional offset account and a fast online application process.
4.29%
4.27%
$0
$198 p.a.
70%
Lock in your investment rate for 3 years
Fund your property portfolio with this fixed rate mortgage which includes a 100% offset account. 30% deposit required.
3.84%
3.91%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Flexible low fee mortgage
Enjoy a fast application process and flexible repayment options with this fixed rate mortgage for investing.

Compare up to 4 providers

Aussie Home Loans Logo

Enter your details below to receive an obligation-free quote from an Aussie home loans expert today

finder.com.au respects your privacy

Applications are subject to approval. Conditions, fees and charges apply. Please note that you need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to apply.

Credit services for Aussie Select, Aussie IQ and Aussie Optimizer products are provided by AHL Investments Pty Ltd ACN 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786 ("Aussie"), and its appointed credit representatives. Credit for Aussie Select products is provided by Residential Mortgage Group Pty Ltd ACN 152 378 133 Australian Credit Licence 414133 (“RMG”). RMG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 234945. Credit for Aussie Optimizer products is provided by Perpetual Limited ABN 86 000 431 827 (Lender). Credit for Aussie IQ is provided by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 237502. Home loans issued by the Lender are serviced by Macquarie Securitisation Limited ABN 16 003 297 336, Australian Credit Licence 237863 (MSL).

Aussie is a trade mark of AHL Investments Pty Ltd. Aussie is a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. ©2018 AHL Investments Pty Ltd ABN 27 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786.

By submitting this form, you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy and the Aussie privacy policy.

Aussie Home Loans is both a lender and a mortgage broker, and offers a range of services.

  • FREE Suburb and Property Report with every appointment.
  • Access 3,000+ loans from over 20 lenders.
  • Get expert help with your loan application, including paperwork and eligibility.
  • Over 1000 brokers who are able to help you in your local area.

Aussie Home Loans Lender Logos

The Adviser’s number 1 placed mortgage broker 5 years running (2013-2017)

Adam Smith

Adam has more than five years of experience writing about the Australian home loan market.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Home Loan Offers

Important Information*
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount offer for Owner Occupiers, P&I Borrowing over $200,000

Take advantage of a low-fee mortgage with a special interest rate of just 3.59% p.a. and a 3.59% p.a. comparison rate.

loans.com.au Essentials - Variable (Owner Occupier, P&I)

A competitive interest rate home loan with interest only options. Interest rate 3.64% p.a.
comp rate of 3.66% p.a.

Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed LVR ≤90% ($150K+ Owner Occupier)

Loans over $150k get a discount off an already low fixed rate. Available for NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.

Newcastle Permanent Building Society Premium Plus Package Home Loan - New Customer Offer ($150k+ Owner Occupier, P&I) Discount 1

New borrowers or refinancers from another lender get a discounted rate with this package loan.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy & Cookies Policy and Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site