Mortgage search volumes declined in November

Jake Carter

December 3, 2020

mortgage products drop

Mortgage search volumes fell by 12.1% between October and November, Twenty7Tec has revealed in its latest monthly market data.

Searches for both purchase and remortgage fell month-on-month, dropping by 12.6% and 11.2%, respectively.

In addition, buy-to-let mortgage searches dropped, declining by 6.9% over the same time frame.

Searches were also down across all valuation ranges, the least affected group were for properties worth more than £1m.

Remortgages accounted for a larger part of total searches in November, at 34.34%, up on the low of 30.92% seen in August.

European standardised information sheet document volumes stands at 85.6% of the year’s high on a 7-day rolling basis.

Looking to the share of BTL ESIS documentation, this increased to 22.45% of all documents.

James Tucker, founder and chief executive of Twenty7Tec, said: “The remortgage market is creeping back up as a proportion of the overall searches, albeit in a contracting search market.

“The long-term ratio for purchase to remortgage is around 60:40 or 55:45, so there’s room for more of a rebalancing yet.

“Deferred mortgage payments – often called mortgage holidays – have clearly impacted this part of the market.

“There remains a lack of products in the market, which means that the level of demand is putting pressure on those fewer products and the teams that sit behind them.

“Greater certainty is likely to give confidence to more players to come back with increased ranges of products.

“Unfortunately, the volume of variables involved make it hard to predict when greater certainty is likely to emerge – it could be post-Brexit, it could after the stamp duty holiday period ends, it could be when we get brighter economic forecasts.”

Phil Bailey, sales director at Twenty7Tec, added: “Our report this month has a special focus on the 90% LTV range.

“We have seen several lenders announce that they are issuing new products in this range this month, but overall we’ve seen a drop in the total number of products available.

“Has the stamp duty scheme worked for 90%+ LTV mortgages? That’s for others to say.

“But if the intention was in any way to reinvigorate a 90%+ LTV first-time buyer-led recovery then the frank appraisal after looking at our data has to be, no.

“Our chart shows the volume of documents prepared in the 90%+ range for all days this year on a seven-day rolling average.

“The stark difference from spring is obvious. The market is currently being sustained by BTL taking a stamp duty holiday, not first-time buyers.”

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