Maximum age at the end of the term was the most searched term in residential mortgages, followed by self-employed applicants with just one year’s accounts.
Help to Buy remained in the top five residential searches for the second month in a row, since making its first appearance in November.
Capital raising and debt consolidation broke into the top five broker search terms for the first time, indicating that some borrowers already knew that they were over-spending even ahead of Christmas happening and were already planning how they were going to pay for it.
First-time landlord within top five broker search terms
In the buy-to-let sector, lending to limited companies was the biggest broker search term, followed by first-time landlord and requirement to be a homeowner.
In equity release, for the final month of the year lenders who would lend to non-borrowing occupiers broke into the top five broker search terms, followed by those who would lend on Grade 2 listed buildings.
Regulated bridging tops the table
Lenders who offer the highest LTV continued to be the top search in the second charge sector, followed by lenders who would consider applicants with all benefits with no earned income.
Within the self-build sector, maximum LTV remained the top search for a second month in a row, suggesting that borrowers are continuing to stretch their finances to make the self-build dream a reality.
December’s index revealed that regulated bridging was the top search within the bridging sector for the third time in four months.
Product innovation was the stand out change in 2018
Nicola Firth, CEO of Knowledge Bank (pictured), said : “During 2018, new lenders entered the market but it was product innovation that really was the stand out change.
“With interest rates remaining low, lenders continue to compete on criteria in addition to rate which makes it increasingly difficult for a broker to know who will or won’t accept their client.
“This product growth was coupled over the year with borrowers having increasingly complex property and financial circumstances. On average brokers searched on five individual pieces of criteria for each borrower which shows how essential it is for a system to ensure that cases are not sent to lenders who will inevitably turn them down.”