Brokers have been working with many borrowers who have started new jobs as ‘time in employment’ featured heavily in criteria searches during February in both the residential and second charge markets.

According to Knowledge Bank, this reflected the record number of job-to-job moves captured by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) between October and December last year.

Matthew Corker (pictured), operations director at Knowledge Bank, said: “There appears to be confidence returning to the jobs market and people feel confident enough to change roles. Some are moving sectors completely, perhaps as a result of the pandemic, and brokers are working with numerous clients who are new-to-role.”

The criteria used by lenders varies when it comes to time in employment and Corker said: “Some are happy to receive a written confirmation of the offer and the first-months’ payslip. Others require any probationary period to be passed before they’ll consider the borrower.”

Pandemic’s impact

The Knowledge Bank tracker results also indicated that brokers were searching for ‘missed or late payments’ and ‘defaults – registered in the last three years’ in the residential market, a clue that the pandemic’s financial impact was still being felt by some borrowers, even as more economic certainty loomed ahead.

In the second charge sector, brokers searched for ‘capital raising – purchase a buy-to-let’, which Knowledge Bank said was a more positive sign. And the rental market remained of interest to new investors, leading brokers to search ‘first-time landlord’ and ‘first-time buyer’ in the buy-to-let (BTL) arena.

Another search that tracked across the residential and second-charge sectors was ‘maximum age at end of term’. And ‘regulated bridging’ continued to dominate searches in the bridging sector, with February being the fourth consecutive month it was the most-searched term. 

Adapting hybrid offices

As more businesses adopt hybrid working models, searches for ‘commercial property’ rose for the first time in four months, indicating that borrowers may be using bridging loans to renovate commercial spaces.

Corker added: “Interest in bridging loans grew significantly in 2021, and the start of 2022 has seen attention in commercial property bridging loans increasing. These may be for buying commercial units, similarly to a residential bridge, when a chain breaks. Or for refurbishments then either selling or refinancing onto a conventional commercial mortgage.”

“The buy-to-let market in particular has been volatile, and with the Bank of England increasing base rate lenders will certainly continue to adapt,” he said. “With this trend certain to continue, brokers need to ensure they are using a criteria search system so they stay up-to-date with all the latest changes.”

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