It marked the tenth consecutive month the criteria appeared in the top five most sought-after terms for buy-to-let (BTL) brokers.
Knowledge Bank said indicated that more people were turning to property for investment opportunities.
Lending to limited companies followed as second most-searched BTL term, while requirement to be a homeowner was the third most-searched.
Residential income concerns
Changes to borrower income, and lender attitudes towards it, were of most concern in February for residential brokers – as mortgage searches for furloughed workers topped their list.
Self-employed and income multiples were among the top five along with ‘soft footprint decision in principle’. This suggested brokers were looking for processes which would not impact their clients’ credit rating or future borrowing abilities.
Debt management was the focus in the second charge market, relating to two of the top five searched terms including debt consolidation and debt management plan.
For the tenth month in a row, ‘maximum loan to value (LTV)’ was the most searched term for brokers in the second charge sector. Knowledge Bank said it implied borrowers hoped to benefit from lower interest rates by securing loans against their homes.
Matthew Corker, operations director at Knowledge Bank, said: “The rental market in the UK is receiving a lot of interest at the moment. Perhaps as a result of the volatility in the stock market due to the pandemic, investors are turning to what they see as a safe investment.
“With house prices increasing in the past year and interest in rental properties also on the increase, this trend could be set to continue.”
Corker added: “The furlough scheme was again at the top of the list for brokers in the residential market, and the latest extension to the job support scheme will undoubtably result in more lenders adjusting criteria.
“With changes coming thick and fast, brokers could spend hours every day searching for the latest criteria, so using a comprehensive criteria search system can save them a massive amount of time and ensure they are providing best advice.”