By Craig Upton, CEO of iCONQUER
In recent months searches performed by mortgage advisors have shown a strong leaning towards specialist mortgage options for borrowers in unique financial situations. Recently there are promising signs that the property market is slowly starting to get back to normal with lockdown restrictions lifting and many coming off the furlough scheme and returning to work.
This is backed up by the fact that specialist furlough mortgage product searches fell by a whopping 40% from March to April, followed by another drop of 32% between April and May. Search volumes for mortgages for borrowers looking to buy to let, but having unsatisfied defaults, continued to decrease, showing a drop of 2%. Search statistics for specialist mortgages, for clients with unsecured arrears, showed the demand for these products remains stable.
Search data shows that the top 3 most sought after mortgage products are for borrowers in a good financial position with no defaults, indicating the decrease in demand for specialist products. Overall search activity has shown a trend returning to normal levels after a significant drop of 20% in May from its peak in March.
Along with the downward trend of specialist mortgage products there is a growing demand for rapid remortgaging. According to Legal & General Mortgage Club’s SmartrCriteria tool, searches performed for home owners wishing to remortgage increased by 40% in the less that six months.
With the growth in the average price of property rising month on month, the demand for capital raising mortgages has also seen a 26% increase in searches between April and May, according to statistics provided by SmartrCriteria.
Searches for UK property, for overseas buyers, remains one of the top volume advisor searched products, indicating the level of interest in visa-friendly mortgages remains high.
Head of Mortgage Transformation and Operations at L&G Mortgage Club, Clare Beardmore, commented:
“The mortgage market has been on a rollercoaster ride in recent months with demand reaching unprecedented levels between January and March. However, we are now seeing the early signs that things may be returning to ‘normal’ with search activity more closely resembling pre-pandemic conditions.”
“Of course, many are still likely to feel the financial consequences of the crisis for some time yet and the key for mortgage borrowers is to continue seeking independent mortgage broker advice when it comes time to find a new mortgage. Advisers, with the support of cutting-edge technology, have so far done an excellent job finding the right options for homeowners across the country and we can expect this trend to continue with the many thousands needing to refinance before the end of the year.”
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