Demand from first-time buyers remains high – L&G

Demand from first-time buyers for mortgages remained high in October and November, according to new data from Legal & General Mortgage Club’s SmartrCriteria tool.

Products catering to first-time buyers were the third most searched criteria point by advisers during October, and the trend extended to November, as searches on behalf of first-time buyers climbed by 8%.

The findings also support Yorkshire Building Society’s recent estimate that the number of UK first-time homebuyers reached its highest ever level in 2021.

L&G Mortgage Club’s data suggests that the end of the stamp duty holiday didn’t take the heat out of the market, with overall product searches increasing by 3% in November.

Furthermore, searches for products where relatives and friends could gift equity grew by 38% between October and November, suggesting that the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ continued to play a central role behind many transactions.
The SmartrCriteria data also indicated that demand for lenders considering credit-impaired customers continued to fall month-on-month. Between October and November, the number of searches for borrowers with missed mortgage repayments fell by just over 10%, while those for customers with debt management plans were 9% lower.

“Advisers are still keeping busy, helping buyers achieve their homeownership goals, even in the face of rising inflation and the financial fallout of the pandemic,” commented L&G Mortgage Club head of broker and propositions, Clare Beardmore. “Our data also shares some positive signs that borrowers are starting to rebuild their finances following the pandemic, with demand for products for the credit-impaired continuing to fall.

“Going forward, advisers have an important role to play in helping them find products that meet their unique needs, and the role of technology in this task cannot be understated. Automating processes, such as affordability calculations, and other administrative tasks, will create that seamless, customer-led journey, which we are all keen to secure.

“It’s vital that we sustain the momentum of the past year and ensure that advisers have the right tools in place to respond to the evolving expectations of customers.”

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