A commercial property loan finances the purchase of property that is used for commercial (business) purposes. For example:
- general office and retail space
- refurbishments and internal fit-outs of business premises
- and specialist commercial properties such as car parks, restaurants or motels.
These loans may finance the purchase or improvement of an existing commercial property or the building of a new asset. They can be provided for commercial property owner-occupiers, as well as for owners who want to rent their commercial premises to business tenants.
Commercial property loans are also used by developers for larger-scale, multi-residential projects like building unit/apartment and townhouse complexes.
Commercial property loans versus residential property loans
Commercial property loans tend to be viewed as a higher risk by lenders than residential property loans, especially if they are for specialist business properties. This is because:
- a commercial property’s value may be less stable over the long term, as they are often dependent on uncontrollable factors such as economic conditions and the overall level of business activity.
- commercial properties tend to experience higher tenant vacancy rates than residential properties. The income they generate is therefore less secure.
- commercial properties can be more expensive to buy, maintain or and/or upgrade. It’s also important to understand that buying a commercial property requires you to pay 10% GST (a cost that you don’t incur when buying residential property in Australia, as they are exempt from GST).
However, you can claim any GST you pay as a credit on the GST payable on your business activity statement (BAS). If you later sell the property, you’ll also be able to claim any GST that you pay on any property selling fees (for example, real estate agent and solicitors’ fees).
You’ll be exempt from capital gains tax (CGT) if you sell your commercial property as part of selling a business as a going concern.
What deposit and type of security is required for a commercial property loan?
Because of the generally higher risks, commercial property loan applications have stricter criteria for approval. For example, you may need to provide one or more of the following:
· A higher deposit.
Different lenders will have different maximum loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) that they’ll be prepared to accept. An LVR is the loan amount expressed as a percentage of the value of the commercial property. The higher the ratio, the more risk to the lender. A higher deposit on the other hand lowers this ratio and therefore the lender’s risk.
For example, if you have a deposit of $160,000 and want to borrow $480,000 for a commercial property worth $640,000, your LVR would be 75% (i.e. $480,000 divided by $640,000).
· Additional collateral security besides the commercial property itself (such as your residential property or other assets).
If you default on your commercial property loan repayments, your lender would be entitled to take possession of your loan’s collateral security assets and sell them to recoup any outstanding debt. Residential property is the preferred form of security for most lenders.
· A guarantor (i.e. an individual or business entity that contractually agrees to be responsible for your commercial property loan debt if you default on your repayments).
How we can help
Choosing the most appropriate lender and commercial property loan for your business is a crucial financial decision.
However, it’s often difficult to find and compare commercial property loan information on the websites of lenders. That’s because key information like interest rates and other commercial property loan terms and conditions are often negotiable. They depend on factors such as the type of business that requires the loan, the type of commercial property being bought, the location and the amount of collateral security that can be provided.
At ARG Finance, our experienced team of commercial finance brokers can help you to find the right commercial property loan product. We’ll take the time to understand your business’ needs before recommending a lender and loan for you.
Contact us today to find out how we can help your business!