The term was also the second most searched for term in buy to let, after it was announced landlords can also take a three-month payment holiday if their tenants experience financial difficulties.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak initially announced homeowners could take a three-month payment holiday on 18 March, as the virus wreaks havoc with household finances.
‘Defaults registered in the past three years’ was the fifth most searched term, but Knowledge Bank said this is expected to rise over the coming months.
‘Maximum age at end of term’, ‘interest-only’ and ‘self-employed with one year’s accounts’ made up the rest of the top five most searched for residential mortgage terms.
Also in buy-to-let, lending to limited companies remained the most popular term for the third month running.
Borrowers struggling already
Within second charges searches for ‘AVMs and desktop valuations’ made it into the top five, which is expected to show in other categories in the coming months.
Brokers were also searching for ‘minimum loan amounts’, suggesting a potential need to release cash at this difficult time. This was followed by ‘mortgage arrears’ or ‘defaults’, then ‘debt management plan’.
Knowledge Bank said the pattern showed some people were struggling with defaults before the coronavirus struck.
Rapid criteria changes
Across the spectrum criteria are changing so rapidly that the sourcing system registered almost 500 changes to criteria from 14 different lenders in 48 hours just this week.
Nicola Firth, founder and chief executive, of Knowledge Bank (pictured) said: “At this time of change it is important to reflect the issues and the searches that brokers are carrying out as it reflects on the market as a whole.
“The number of broker registrations and searches has increased exponentially over the past three weeks and a peek into those searches provides us with a fascinating insight.
“April will clearly be even more revealing as the broker searches could change more dramatically than anything we have seen to date.”