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Specialist mortgage searches leap as borrowers seek ‘alternative’ paths to ownership – Legal & General

  • 21/11/2022
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Specialist mortgage searches leap as borrowers seek ‘alternative’ paths to ownership – Legal & General
Mortgage criteria searches were dominated by niche products in October, reinforcing the importance of specialist products, lenders, and advisers, according to Legal and General’s SmartFit platform.

Searches for products suitable for Discounted Market Sale (DMS) schemes grew by a quarter in October alone, data from the platform showed.

This coincides with the deadline for applications for the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme on 31 October.

Further indication that first-time buyers were looking for alternatives to the scheme come as ‘joint borrower, sole proprietor’ was the third most used criteria point of the month.

The platform said a weaker pound appears to have boosted investment from overseas buyers as searches on behalf of those with foreign income grew by five per cent.

At the same time, searches for consumer buy-to-let products jumped by more than a third, likely boosted by the recently tightened criteria in this area, according to SmartFit.

October also saw a 13 per cent jump in criteria searches for mortgages suitable for high-rise flats.

Overall, demand for specialist products was high across the board, the platform found.

Retirement Interest Only (RIO) mortgages searches grew by seven per cent, and searches that consider a property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) also climbed by six per cent last month.


‘An array of new and innovative products for borrowers’

Jodie White, head of mortgage products and transformation, Legal and General Mortgage Services, said: “The mortgage market has experienced an array of recent political, social, and economic changes, all of which are reflected in today’s data. One of the major changes is the upcoming end of the long-running Help to Buy scheme.

“Many prospective buyers could benefit from consulting an adviser to explore their alternative paths to homeownership and this will likely be an important focus for brokers from now on. Elsewhere, other buyers are contending with factors such as the stipulations around visas, DMS schemes, and buy-to-let product criteria.

“This month’s data shows the sheer volume and array of new and innovative products currently available to borrowers. In such a rapidly changing market, the value of mortgage advice has never been so high.”

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