Primis Mortgage Network helped advisers with 1,903 queries in August, with the most common query around adverse credit.
The network said that this was partially due to more mortgage options becoming available to those with adverse credit, which could include missed payments, debt management plans, county court judgements or bankruptcy.
It said this showed an increase in lender confidence as pandemic recovery continued.
According to Primis, it is the first time since February this year that adverse credit appeared as a leading query.
Chris Sykes, Private Finance’s associate director and mortgage consultant, said: “It would make sense after the last 18 months that there is more adverse credit in the market.
“This is something we predicted at the start of the pandemic and we feel more lenders need to be understanding and manual with small blips rather than offering a mainstream automatic decline model, where explanations are often not listened to.”
Pepper Money’s sales director Paul Adams said that it was “no surprise” to see an increase in adverse credit enquiries given the upheaval of the last year and a half.
He pointed to the Pepper Money’s adverse credit study which found that 36 per cent had seen a fall in income during the pandemic and 24 per cent had increased their credit use.
Self-employed mortgages also ranked in the top four most common broker queries in August, with Primis attributing this to changing lender criteria and new products.
Craig Scott, mortgage broker at Specialist Mortgages, said that he had seen lenders loosening criteria when it came to government support, with many now putting in a time scale on when it was used to improve flexibility.
However, he said that often the loan to value was still a “great source of frustration” as they were typically lower, and lenders did not have a timeframe as to when this might change.
He added that in some cases it may be challenging for company directors to secure mortgages as their income might be complex and require more underwriting and service.
Sykes said: “It is such a complex market really you need a broker if you are self-employed, we are navigating explanations around grants, loans, talking lenders through how businesses have changed during the pandemic. It is a tough market still, but it is improving daily as lenders get more understanding of Covid-19 impacts.”
Later life lending
Brokers also submitted a lot of queries around later life lending, especially around gifted deposits where parents help their children purchase property.
Primis added that there had been an increased number of guarantor mortgage and joint mortgage sole proprietor enquiries.
Sykes said that Private Finance has seen a “fair rise” in these kinds of enquiries but it was “tough and often a specialist market”.
He said: “These are always difficult as expectations versus reality can be quite different in this bracket, for example I had a client who recently retired earlier than planned from a corporate job on well over £100,ooo.
“He needs to review his mortgage but doesn’t have a pension yet so is just living off investments. Luckily we have lenders that can take an asset slice view on his investments until his pension kicks in.”
Expat BTL enquiries
Another common query was around expat BTL enquiries, but Primis warned that there were fears lenders may not lend to expats following Brexit.
Scott said that expat BTL mortgages were still popular, especially with a limited company structure due to the tax savings.
He added that many foreign investors still saw London and the South East as key areas in which to purchase and invest in property.