Knowledge Bank has revealed the most search criteria by brokers during the month of July.
Its monthly Criteria Activity Tracker revealed that there were over 65,000 searchable criteria, an increase of over 5,000 from June 2018 and for the first time the average number of criteria searched on per case has increased from 4.5 to five.
The firm says that this shows that borrowers’ circumstances are becoming increasingly complex and highlights the need to establish early on in the process which lenders will consider multiple factors grouped together.
In the residential sector the top two searches retain their spots from last month but ‘defaults registered in the past three years’ is now the third most searched criteria. Searches for ‘maximum LTV’ and lenders allowing capital raising for debt consolidation make up the top five.
For buy-to-let loans the picture is much the same with the top two searches remaining constant but ‘holiday lets’ and lenders requiring the applicant to be a homeowner break into the top five.
Second charge criteria sourcing had the greatest change with the top five changing completely. Out went missed or late payments and CCJs and it was the maximum LTV offered by lenders that brokers most wanted to know.
Nicola Firth, CEO of Knowledge Bank, said: “The Criteria Activity Tracker provides an insight into what’s really going and what the borrower’s criteria requirements are that brokers are faced with as we speak. This is not archive data but the questions brokers are asking right now in order to place a case.
“We have heard recently that product numbers are increasing and that is why criteria searching is becoming an essential first step on the advice process. Any growth in product numbers is accompanied by a raft of criteria that sits behind the headline rates.
“One of the most startling facts from the tracker this month is that a broker is searching an average of five separate criteria categories for each case. This shows just how complex a borrower’s needs are becoming and how crucial it is for a broker to know at the onset which lenders will consider their client.
“There have been some interesting results from the tracker this month but once again the most common anecdotal feedback that we receive is frustration that criteria changes are not being widely publicised. There is a feeling in the market that only criteria changes that lenders deem to be positive hit the headlines. We have some sympathy with this situation for both lenders and brokers due to the sheer numbers involved as we added over 5,000 new pieces of criteria in July alone. What is without doubt is that technology needs to provide brokers with a simple solution as keeping up to date through lender websites and spreadsheets is simply unrealistic.”