Search terms reflecting the concerns of customers in a pandemic-hit market have featured highly in brokers’ criteria searches since lockdown began.
The second most popular search term in residential was ‘maximum age at end of term’, followed by ‘self-employed – 1 year’s accounts’, ‘help to buy equity loan scheme’ and at number five, ‘Covid-19: furloughed workers’.
Other regular broker searches in August asked about maximum loan-to-values (LTVs) and maximum loan sizes, across the second charge, equity release, self-build, bridging and commercial segments.
In buy-to-let, the number one search was ‘lending to limited companies’, followed by ‘first-time landlord.’ The number five search term in buy-to-let was ‘holiday lets’, perhaps reflecting the apparent opportunity in so-called staycation holidays during the pandemic.
In equity release, ‘debt management plan – ongoing/ current’ entered the top five, indicating that some borrowers may be looking to reduce monthly outgoings.
“There’s growing concern about mortgage eligibility among consumers across the board, particularly those looking for higher LTVs,” said Matthew Corker, lender relationship manager at Knowledge Bank.
“The looming end to the furlough scheme also continues to feature prominently as those on furlough attempt to get mortgages approved before their furlough ends,” he said.
Corker added that searches on maximum age at end of term could indicate that first-time buyers are relying more on family members to raise a deposit, with longer-term implications for equity release market.