Buying a studio apartment

2011 October 7
by admin

Studio apartments are becoming more popular with people who wish to live closer to the city and who do not have large families. But are studio apartments easy to finance? It really depends on where you are buying, how much you have saved as a deposit and how big the apartment is.

Studio apartments

Studio apartments, ‘bed sitters’ or ‘bedroom apartments’ differ from regular apartments in that they do not have any dividing walls that separate living spaces. Most of them simply have a small kitchenette which is included in the same room. There are no bedrooms and the apartments are quite small in size, with most of them around 40 m².

What are the lending guidelines?

Lenders have very specific rules when assessing whether people can borrow to finance to a studio apartment. If the property is less than 18 m², you will not be able to borrow.

If the apartment is 18 m² to 40 m², then the banks may lend you up to 80% LVR. However, where it is 40 m² to 50 m², most banks will lend you up to 90% of the purchase price. Additionally, depending on your financial situation and your income, some banks will allow you to borrow 95% LVR.

If you the apartment is bigger than 50 m², most banks will lend 95% of the property value. However, you must have strong finances.

If you are a low doc borrower then you will only be able to borrow for apartments over 40 m².

Note that if you are borrowing to buy a 1 bed room unit that is over 50m², standard lending guidelines will apply. This is primarily because one bedroom units, with separate living spaces attract a bigger market and are more sellable in the banks eyes.

What do the lenders consider?

As well as the size of the apartment, the lenders look at whether the unit has an internal living area, not including a garage or car space.

Banks assess your ability to borrow based on your income, your employment status, whether you are providing any genuine savings, as well as a variety of other factors.

If you doubt your ability to qualify for a loan based on the bank’s lending criteria or you need to borrow 100% of the purchase price, you may wish to consider getting your parents to guarantee your loan, using their property as security.

However, your parents would need to be made aware of all the risk associated with this arrangement.

Are studio apartments popular?

Whilst most families live in larger apartments or houses, studio apartments are very popular with singles and couples that don’t need large living spaces. For most young men and women who have moved out of home, many bedrooms are unnecessary. Additionally, those that work many hours may spend minimal time in their apartment and thus, have no need for multiple living spaces and outdoor areas, as they are rarely used.

Studio apartments are also popular with investors. Many like to buy these apartments in inner city areas and rent them out.

Advantages of buying a studio apartment

These unit types are highly affordable and often in some of the most sought after city locations. They are generally close to amenities and for investors, they generate good rental income.

Disadvantages of buying a studio apartment

One of the major disadvantages of this property type is its size. They are quite small and generally in condensed apartment blocks, so noise can be an issue.

As the apartment is in a studio complex there may be annual rates that need to be paid. These can amount to quite a significant sum, depending on where you live and the applicable charges.

Purchasing this property type

If you think that you can afford to finance this property, speak to a mortgage broker and apply today. This may be your solution to affordable city living or the investment property that produces great returns!

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