Political business

Mortgage searches for first-time buyers increase dramatically

In fact, along with “first owner”, it was the third most searched search in 2020 and the fourth most popular search in 2021.

The news comes as the club’s SmartrCriteria platform commemorates its third anniversary. In the name of celebration, Legal & General has reported top search trends over the past three years using the tool.

In 2019, the most popular search was ‘fundraising’, followed by ‘expat not in the UK’, with ‘deposit/equity’ in third place.

In 2020, the top three were: “visa”, “maximum age” and, as mentioned above, mortgages for FTBs.

In 2021, first place was still “visa”, second: “loan to value” and third, “satisfied default”.

The popularity of visa seeking, Legal & General infers, is due to overseas buyers looking to take advantage of stamp duty tax relief.

This was also the reason why FTB searches were increasing so significantly.

The club adds that searches for “holiday rentals” increased by 25% year on year in 2021.

Clare Beardmore, Legal and General Head of Broker and Proposals, comments: “The continued impact of the pandemic has been undeniable, reshaping the types of properties buyers seek and prompting a number of government initiatives which have seen the Market activity and housing prices both arise.

“As we move into 2022, we appear to be entering another phase for the sector, as we leave behind the low rates that have dominated the market for so long.

“As we face potential further rate hikes, many homeowners and potential buyers have seen their household finances take a hit, with high energy prices and rising inflation pushing up the cost of the life.

“SmartrCriteria data from December 2021 has already shown an 8% increase in searches around ‘payday loans‘ and there will likely be further financial pressure on borrowers.

“Waiting for our January 2022 data, we can anticipate what this new year might bring. Current pressure on affordability and uncertainty over future rates have the potential to shift borrower preferences towards the comfort of a longer-term fixed rate product, or spur the search for interest-only mortgages that minimize monthly expenses.