LTV restrictions
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Temporary restrictions on maximum LTVs was the most popular search term among brokers in April across the residential, buy-to-let, second charge and bridging markets, according to figures from database Knowledge Bank.

This comes as many lenders have retreated from the higher LTV market, although some have made a comeback since.

Last month Nationwide extended lending via brokers up to 85 per cent LTV, after temporarily withdrawing the products to focus on supporting existing customers and processing ongoing applications.

The data also showed that ‘internal/AVM/desktop valuations’ and ‘Covid-19: furloughed workers’ completed the list of top three searches in the residential mortgage category last month.

Knowledge Bank said the search volume for furloughed workers suggested consumers were looking to switch deals to reduce their outgoings, or possibly leave expensive rental properties.

The figures also found that the minimum age at application was the most popular search by equity release brokers, which stood in contrast with February when the maximum age was the most common search.

Searches for the option to add fees to the equity release loan were also popular.

According to Knowledge Bank, these searches might reflect people of working age wanting to access equity to top up their daily finances, and also indicated people were looking to maximise the equity they can access upfront.

Top five searches performed by brokers on Knowledge Bank during April 2020

 RESIDENTIALBUY-TO-LETEQUITY RELEASE
1Covid-19: Temporary Maximum LTV RestrictionsCovid-19: Temporary Maximum LTV RestrictionsMinimum Age at Application
2Internal / AVM / Desktop ValuationsInternal / AVM / Desktop ValuationsSecond Home / Property
3Covid-19: Furloughed WorkersLending to Limited CompaniesAdd Fees to Loan
4Maximum Age at End of TermMinimum Income – Interest Only / Part and Part Single ApplicantMaximum LTV
5Help to Buy Equity Loan SchemeRequirement to be a HomeownerEarly Repayment Charges

Matthew Corker, lender relationship manager at Knowledge Bank, said: “With lenders across the board cutting back sharply on loan-to-value, and in some cases temporarily withdrawing from the market, brokers are working harder than ever to keep track of an ever-changing landscape and get the best deals for their clients.”

Jamie Lewis, managing director at Affinity Mortgages, said: “I am not surprised to see these results as many of our brokers have been trying to find ways to facilitate the need that is still there for creative mortgage solutions for our clients.”

He added: “The press for us as brokers is to find the bravest lenders who are standing by their clients in the worst times”.

According to Mr Corker, about 2,000 brokers have so far signed up to Knowledge Bank’s free ‘live feed’ on Covid-19, which is updated by lenders in real time.

By Chloe Cheung

Source: FT Adviser

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