‘Securing debt’ was amongst the top searches in the second charge mortgage category in January, according to Knowledge Bank.

Knowledge Bank recorded a record 52,000 criteria changes in 2020 and noted a further 3,000 criteria changes in January.

The second charge market saw the biggest shift in January, out of the four new terms in the top five, three related to managing or consolidating debt, including those with CCJs looking to second charge loans for finance.

Record number of sales likely to collapse

The one constant in January was ‘Maximum loan-to-value’, which has been the top searched second charge criteria since May 2019.

‘Furloughed workers’ was the most searched term in the residential market.

In addition, searches for ‘joint borrower sole proprietor’ reached the top five most-searched terms in residential criteria.

‘First-time buyers’ reached the top five search terms in the buy-to-let market.

‘First-time landlord’ also remained in the top two most-searched terms for the eighth consecutive month.

Looking to the bridging market, ‘development bridging’ made the top five for the first time since February 2019.

Meanwhile, ‘commercial owner occupier’ entered the top five in the commercial arena, potentially to raise funds, which then can be reinvested into the business.

Matthew Corker, operations director at Knowledge Bank, said: “As we move into 2021, the mortgage market continues to shift dramatically.

“There is significant interest in debt consolidation in the second charge market, while the buy-to-let sector continues to attract interest from both potential and existing investors.

“The furlough scheme is at the top of brokers requests in the residential category as thousands of families are, or have now been, affected by being on furlough. Just how supportive lenders will be of those that have been on the scheme is still being established.

“On the positive side, support from families appears to be helping buyers onto the ladder.

“This trend looks set to continue despite 90% LTV mortgages coming back to the market, as the average price for first-time buyers continues to rise.

“With the end of both the stamp duty holiday and furlough scheme, lenders are certain to continue adapting criteria to keep up with the evolving market.

“It is now physically impossible for any mortgage broker to keep all the different criteria in their heads.

“So, it is now more important than ever for brokers to use a comprehensive criteria search system to ensure they can provide their clients with best advice – and evidence that they have done so.”