Broker searches ‘overhauled’ in February: Knowledge Bank  


Broker searches saw a “significant overhaul” in February, as the market underwent a raft of product and rate changes amid the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis, data from Knowledge Bank shows.  

The criteria search engine says in the residential category the enquiry for ‘maximum age at the end of the term’ held onto the most searched spot, but this section’s top five places saw a great deal of change.   

It adds that ‘time in current employment’ rose three places to take the second residential spot and the ‘maximum age for employed income’ entered the top five for the first time relegating the search for ‘missed or late payments’ to fifth place.   

Enquiries in the equity release sector saw searches for ‘ex-local authority houses’ as the most popular criteria for the first time.  

The most popular search in the second charge category remained ‘maximum loan to value’. But entering the top five for the first time in second place was the search for the ‘maximum age at application’, which suggests an older profile of secured loan customers.   

Second charge searches for the ‘minimum loan amount’ which had been the second most common search for the past three months dropped to fifth place.  

Bridging loan enquiries had fewer changes last month than many other product types with the top four searches remaining consistent. However, the search for ‘adverse credit’ entered the most popular searches in fifth spot for the first time in over a year.  

The buy-to-let sector was the only beacon of consistency across all the lending types with a clean sweep of the top five searches in line from the month before.   

The platform says that ‘lending to limited companies’; was the most popular search with ‘first-time landlords’ and the ‘requirement to be a homeowner’ making up the top three places.   

Knowledge Bank chief executive Nicola Firth says: “Brokers are operating in a tumultuous lending landscape with mortgage product pricing and criteria changing daily.   

“In 2023, there are a tremendous number of borrowers coming off fixed rates who are faced not only with a significant price hike but also tighter lending criteria.   

“It is no longer a simple remortgage process and borrowers are finding that they cannot assume they will still qualify for the same product from the same lenders.   

“As a result, brokers are having to manage their client’s expectations and work much harder to place cases.”  

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