This follows the news that NatWest would no longer produce hard footprints for agreements in principle (AIP) submitted by brokers, unless the case progressed to full application.
Maximum age at the end of term was the second most-searched criteria for residential brokers, followed by self-employed borrowers with one year’s accounts.
This was followed by searches for furloughed workers impacted by Covid-19 and the income multiples allowed for affordability. While this was the first time this year searches for furloughed workers did not come top, the results still suggest income constraints are among the top concerns.
Investment interest in the buy-to-let market remained as ‘first-time landlord,’ and ‘first-time buyer,’ were second and fourth most-searched terms.
‘Lending to limited companies,’ was the most sought-after criteria, while ‘requirement to be a homeowner,’ came in third.
In the equity release market, ‘medically enhanced lifetime mortgage,’ was the most-searched, making it the first time the term made the top five since April 2019.
For brokers dealing with bridging cases, ‘maximum loan to value,’ and ‘regulated bridging,’ were the top terms.
Matthew Corker, operations director at Knowledge Bank, said: “The soft footprint searches show brokers are treading carefully when making applications for clients.
“This might be as a result of the economic divide, with some clients struggling financially and wanting to avoid damaging their credit scores further. It may also be due to the increase in buyers rushing to buy a property and looking to secure a mortgage in principle quickly so they can make firm offers.”
He added: “The two-speed rental market is gathering momentum with continued interest from new landlords and even those new to the property market completely.
“Those looking to invest will probably be looking outside of the capital as rents outside of London continue to increase rapidly.”