On residential searches, the results suggest that interest in mortgages for older borrowers is on the rise, with searches for both maximum age at the end of term and maximum age at application both appearing within the top three.
The Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme also appears in the top five for the first-time since August, with little more than a year left before the scheme adjusts to being restricted to solely first-time buyers.
Interest-only and lenders that will offer loans to self-employed borrowers with only one year of accounts make up the rest of the top five.
For the third month in a row, all of the top five criteria searches regarding equity release cases were completely different from the month before.
Indeed, this month’s most common term ‒ ‘non-standard construction’ ‒ has only made the top five twice previously.
For buy-to-let deals, ‘day one remortgage’ made it into the top five for the first time. Knowledge Bank suggested this pointed towards people raising money for renovations, such as when they have inherited a property that needs work.
It was followed by ‘lending to trustees’, another search term which has not previously troubled the top five.
Knowledge Bank also revealed that there was little let up for brokers over the festive period, with one search taking place on Christmas Day, six searches on Boxing Day, 66 searches on New Year’s Eve and 11 on New Year’s Day.
Nicola Firth (pictured), chief executive officer of Knowledge Bank, said that the equity release market is “particularly unpredictable” but noted there had been a number of surprising entries across every sector of the market.
“The searches in residential reflect just how challenging the mortgage market remains for people wanting to get onto the housing ladder and those who will still be paying off mortgages, potentially well into retirement,” she continued.
“Brokers really need to stay on their toes to keep up with the hundreds of changes to lenders’ criteria that take place every month – so no wonder some even felt the need to work over Christmas.”