Knowledge Bank criteria searches highlight interest in rental market

The rental market in the UK is receiving “a lot of interest” from new investors, according to new research from criteria search specialist, Knowledge Bank.

Analysis of searches carried out in February also showed that intermediaries are working with potential new landlords, while the furlough scheme is still of interest in the residential market.

Knowledge Bank is the largest database of mortgage lending criteria in the UK, and its monthly criteria index shows the terms that brokers are searching for.

Buy-to-let (BTL) brokers reported interest from ‘First-time landlords’ after the criteria search hit the top five for the tenth month in a row.It was also the most searched term by brokers in February. Knowledge Bank suggested this increased interest in the rental market from investors could demonstrate they are shifting attention away from stocks and shares investments, and towards the BTL market.

Knowledge Bank operations director, Matthew Corker, commented: “The rental market in the UK is receiving a lot of interest at the moment. Perhaps as a result of the volatility in the stock market due to the pandemic, investors are turning to what they see as a safe investment.

“With house prices increasing in the past year and interest in rental properties also on the increase, this trend could be set to continue.

“However, with the government announcing they would back 95% LTV mortgages, this may help more first-time buyers onto the housing ladder, and may see less looking to rent in the future.”

In the residential market, the analysis revealed that ‘Soft footprint at DIP stage’ was back in the top five most-searched terms after a month’s absence, which Knowledge Bank suggested shows that brokers are looking for processes that will not impact future applications – potentially due to clients having lower credit scores.

The rest of the top five in this category were unchanged from January’s data, with furlough again top of the searches.

“The furlough scheme was again at the top of the list for brokers in the residential market, and the latest extension to the job support scheme will undoubtably result in more lenders adjusting criteria,” Corker added.

“The stamp duty extension may bring a raft of new clients to the market. However, they will need to move quickly as even with the extra three months, the deadline is still tight for those who have not already started the process.”

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