Right to buy in top five most popular mortgage criteria

Right to buy was amongst the most-searched-for residential lender criteria by brokers for the first time in July, according to Knowledge Bank’s monthly criteria tracker.

However, this finding comes after Boris Johnson hinted earlier in the month that he wants to extend right to buy to housing association tenants – after previously suggesting it had not place in modern housing policy.

Furthermore, interest-only also made an appearance for the first time in 12 months, possibly due to a number of new launches in the sector in July.

Cambridge Building Society launched its first ever Retirement Interest Only (RIO) product, while Leeds launched a new 15-year fixed rate RIO. Leeds also amended its lending criteria to allow for the use of income drawdown pensions and SIPPs when assessing borrower affordability.

Other search highlights include ‘payday loan’ appearing for the first time in the second charge sector, and ‘British national working overseas or offshore’ revealed as one of the most popular searches within self-build for the first time.

Commercial property was in the top five within bridging for the first time since August 2018 while ‘commercial’ made an appearance in the top five buy to let searches for the first time in 11 months.

Commenting, Knowledge Bank CEO Nicola Firth said: “Our tracker reveals a few shifts this month with interest-only making an appearance in residential searches for the first time this year, most likely as a result of a several new products and criteria changes to this sector. It was outstanding to discover that we have seen almost 30,000 mortgage criteria changes year to date, which just goes to show the pace at which our industry is making changes.

“No matter how many mortgages they place, it’s simply not possible for any broker to remember the 91,000 pieces of criteria, let alone keep pace with the 28,524 changes we’ve had already in 2019. Our monthly tracker proves just how much what a broker is searching for alters on a monthly basis. To remember criteria changes across all the different fields that a broker has to search is impossible.

“Even the best help desks would struggle to update this many changes to a spreadsheet in six months, without a team of people working on it full time. Knowledge Bank is in the fortunate position that it is updated by the lenders rather than staff in a club or network or the brokers themselves.”

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