Legal & General’s SmartrCriteria tool tracked a record number of searches last month after volumes jumped 17% between February and March.
This follows HMRC’s latest property transaction data, which revealed that residential transactions doubled year-on-year in March 2021.
However, while activity volumes reached new heights, data from SmartrCriteria searches showed an increase in searches for borrowers with financial complications, such as credit impairments, furloughed income, or multi-stream income.
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This is reflective of the continued impact of the pandemic in complicating borrowers’ personal finances.
SmartrCriteria’s most searched criteria point last month related to mortgages suited to borrowers with a satisfied default, indicating that many borrowers have retrospectively settled missed payments recently.
These searches increased by over 40% between February and March whilst searches for borrowers with outstanding missed payments (unsatisfied defaults) also jumped by 28%.
Similarly, demand for furlough-friendly mortgages remained high and, despite overall volumes having dipped by just over 9%, this was advisers’ second most searched criteria point in March.
Searches for applicants with a second job increased by 51% last month, a further indication of financial strain on customers.
Clare Beardmore, head of mortgage transformation and operations at Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “While it is clear that various government incentives are driving many to push ahead with their homeownership plans, the rising number of searches for lenders who will accept applicants with credit impairments and multiple income streams shows that the economic impact of the crisis continues to be felt by many.
“While activity in the housing market may be high, advisers are increasingly needing powerful tools to help them progress complex cases.
“Our sourcing technology continues to be an ally to intermediaries, helping them match clients with lenders no matter their borrowing needs.
“We remain committed to introducing further improvements to the proposition and look forward to delivering additional product enhancements to help intermediaries through this current busy period and beyond.”