With the scheme set to end on 31 March and the country in lockdown with no clear end date, lender criteria is still restrictive on those who are receiving support, data from the Knowledge Bank Tracker suggested.
The report also showed ‘joint borrower sole proprietor’ products were among the top five searches for the first time in 11 months.
Despite lenders returning to serve borrowers with smaller deposits, more interest in these products suggested increasing house prices have spurred a continued need for familial support.
The report showed signs that homeowners were also in need of support as four of the top five searches in the second charge market related to managing or consolidating debt.
Additionally, the most searched term for second charge brokers in January was ‘maximum loan to value (LTV)’, implying that borrowers may be using their homes to secure debt.
A possible change in earnings in the family home also influenced second charge search terms with ‘married couple application in one/single name’ being the fifth most demanded criteria.
First-time buyers seeking BTL
‘First-time buyers’ was among the top five searches in the buy-to-let market for the first time since February last year, while ‘requirement to be a homeowner’ was the third most searched term.
This indicated borrowers were using the sector to get onto the property ladder and preparing for the transition to owner-occupier status.
The interest in investment was not restricted to first-time buyers as ‘first time landlord’ was in the top two searches for the eighth consecutive month.
Knowledge Bank said there were also signs landlords were trying to get ahead of incoming tax changes in April, as ‘lending to limited companies’ was the top searched term last month.
Overall, last year saw a record number of criteria changes with Knowledge Bank reporting there were 52,000 adjustments made to mortgage criteria. This continued into 2021 too, as January alone saw 3,000 criteria changes.
Matthew Corker, operations director at Knowledge Bank, said: “As we move into 2021, the mortgage market continues to shift dramatically. There is significant interest in debt consolidation in the second charge market, while the buy-to-let sector continues to attract interest from both potential and existing investors.
“The furlough scheme is at the top of brokers requests in the residential category as thousands of families are, or have now been, affected by being on furlough. Just how supportive lenders will be of those that have been on the scheme is still being established.”
He added: “With the end of both the stamp duty holiday and furlough scheme, lenders are certain to continue adapting criteria to keep up with the evolving market.”