Brokers most frequently searched for lenders using a maximum borrowing limit in December, a mortgage search platform has revealed.
Knowledge Bank released the monthly data from its criteria searching system today (January 10), which contained more than 80,000 criteria covering 150 lenders.
According to Knowledge Bank, broker activity remained high in the final month of last year with brokers most frequently searching for maximum borrowing criteria in the residential, second charge and self-build categories.
Searches for Help-to-Buy remained in the top five residential searches, a month after making its first appearance on the list last year following an extension of the government scheme in the Autumn Budget.
In the buy-to-let sector, searches for lenders happy to lend to limited companies featured most frequently in December – a pattern matched by lender reports of landlords increasingly transferring properties to limited companies to navigate tax changes in the market.
But searches for lenders willing to lend to first time landlords featured as the second most commonly searched criteria in the buy-to-let sector, closely followed by requirements for first-time buyers.
Nicola Firth, chief executive of Knowledge Bank, said: “The year ended largely as it had started with a huge number of searches across the different product areas.
“During 2018 new lenders entered the market but it was product innovation that really was the stand out change.
“With interest rates remaining low, lenders continue to compete on criteria in addition to rate which makes it increasingly difficult for a broker to know who will or won’t accept their client.”
She added: “On average brokers searched on five individual pieces of criteria for each borrower which shows how essential it is for a system to ensure that cases are not sent to lenders who will inevitably turn them down.”
Source: FT Adviser