Michael Lloyd

July 5, 2018

In June the most searched criteria for buy-to-let on Knowledge Bank was minimum income, followed by first-time landlords, HMOs, the six month rule then lending to limited companies, Knowledge Bank’s monthly Criteria Activity Tracker has found.

Over 250,000 criteria searches have been made using Knowledge Bank since its launch in September 2017.

Nicola Firth, chief executive of Knowledge Bank said: “These results do really show what’s happening ‘on the ground’ in terms of mortgage activity.

“The buy-to-let category for example shows that despite several years of negative conditions and decreasing tax incentives for private landlords, the second most searched criteria by brokers is for first-time landlords.

“This shows that there is still an appetite out there for first time landlords looking to invest and that the enquiries are still there, even if they are not being followed through with applications. This could, perhaps, show that some are being put off by the levy on the stamp duty and other taxation.”

For June 2018 Knowledge Bank reports that there were 60,000 searchable criteria, an increase of 5,000 from May 2018 and for the second month running brokers searched on average 4.5 different criteria categories for each case.

The top search for residential was self-employed, one year accounts, then the maxiumum age at end of term, then maximum LTV and interest-only with first-time buyers being the least searched criteria.

For second charges, the most searched criteria was arrears or missed payments, followed by accountant’s projection, CCJs, maximum LTV then broker or adviser fees, added to the loan.

Firth added: “Additionally, within the residential sector the top search was for lenders willing to accept self-employed applicants with just one year’s accounts. Does this indicate a move into the mainstream for what has traditionally been a specialist employment group?

“What is beyond doubt is that brokers are finding it increasingly challenging to find lenders who are willing to accept clients with ever more complex personal and financial circumstances.

“The fact that brokers are on average searching on 4.5 criteria categories for each case shows very clearly how complex individual mortgage cases have become and how much effort is needed to find a lender willing to consider a case with multiple parts.

“This leads onto a key frustration for brokers in that most criteria changes are not publicised if the lender considers the change to be anything other than positive and as a result they are often totally unaware of changes until they submit a case.

“As a result it’s becoming widely accepted that keeping up to date through lender websites and spreadsheets is simply impractical.”

For self-build the most searched was applications from developers or builders, followed by accountant’s projection, lending to limited companies, short-term lending, custom build, interest-only during the build.

The most searched for bridging was maximum LTV, then properties purchased at auction, below market value purchase, exit strategy then multi-let.

For commercial the most searched was maximum LTV and then remortgaging from a bridging loan, excluded industries, maximum LTV for trading businesses and then, bottom, leasehold remaining term.

The most searched criteria for equity release was the minimum age at application followed by maximum LTV while for overseas, the most searched criteria was holiday homes and then expatriates.

June’s tracker also now includes eight individual lending types so that brokers can keep abreast of activity in the specific sectors.

The firm said that this demonstrates how much more complex borrower’s lives are today and how important it is to be able to factor in all of a client’s unique circumstances at the same time.

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