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Understanding different loan to value ratios

The Loan to Value ratio (LVR) is the amount of your loan compared to the value of your property.

LVR is calculated by dividing the amount of the loan by the value of the property. For example, if the property is worth $250,000 and you have a deposit of $50,000, the LVR will be 80%. ($250,000-$50,000)÷$250,000 = 80%.

First home buyers

Deposit of 20% or more

If you want to buy your first home as an owner-occupier, and have a deposit of at least 20%, i.e. an LVR of 80% or less, there will be no impact on your home loan application. 

Deposit of less than 20%

If your deposit is less than 20% of the home's value, your loan application will be affected by the LVR restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

The restrictions mean that only 20% of our new lending for owner-occupied residential housing (new home loans) can have an LVR of more than 80% (a 20% deposit or less). Therefore, your application will have to undergo a number of assessments to see if we are able to give you the loan or not, to ensure that we comply with these restrictions.

A low-equity interest rate premium will apply to all BNZ home loan lending with an LVR of over 80% (less than 20% deposit).

You can view details on our home loan interest rates and fees page

Residential property investors

Following lending restrictions introduced by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, we are unable to approve loans for residential investment properties if you have less than 30% deposit, unless your loan falls within an exemption

This restriction applies to new applications and/or top-ups. Applications for lending against owner-occupied property are also impacted if there is a residential investment property in the lending mix. Exemptions may apply such as if you are refinancing from another bank, or if your house is under construction. If you'd like to find out more, call us on 0800 275 269.

Customers with an existing home loan

Topping up an existing home loan

You can apply to borrow more funds on top of your current home loan. Your application will have to undergo a number of assessments to see if we are able to accommodate the new loan amount. If you are looking to top-up your loan, get in touch with us to talk through your options. If you have a HomeAdvantage MasterCard, your top up might affect the interest rates on your card.^

Moving to a new home

If you are moving to a new home, you should be able to take your home loan with you. As long as you plan to live in the new property, as your main place of residence, you are not likely to be affected by the restrictions.

You may not be able to move your loan if you wish to increase the amount of your loan and the increase makes your LVR more than 80%. In this case, your application will be affected by the new rules and will have to undergo a number of assessments to see if we can accommodate the loan increase. If you are looking to move homes, talk to us and we can help you work through your options.

LVR exemptions for new housing

Under some circumstances there are exemptions to LVR restrictions. Where a loan falls under
an exemption, the loan is not included in the banks’ high LVR ‘speed limits’.

These exemptions include lending (including increases of existing loans) to finance the construction of a new house or apartment.