Number of mortgage searches drops to lowest level in six years
The data shows that over the first week of January the average number of mortgage searches is around 75%, however, this dropped to 67.43% in the first week of 2021.
In contrast, the number of mortgage searches at the start of 2020 was 76.68%.
The first week’s mortgage searches as a percentage of all prior year searches also fell annually, from 1.95% to 1.73%.
Looking to the first week’s ESIS documents as a percentage of the prior year’s total ESIS documents, this fell from 2.21% in 2020 to 1.41% in 2021.
Furthermore, the first week of January’s ESIS documents as a percentage of the prior year’s maximum weekly ESIS documents were 59.87% in 2021, down from 67.57% the previous year.
“In most other years, the total number of mortgage searches in the first week of the year is around 75% of the previous year’s busiest week.
“However, last week, this this figure dropped to be 67.43% of the prior year’s high.
“In terms of weekly ESIS documentation as a percentage of the prior year’s busiest week, last week was the slowest first week of the year since 2018, with less than 60% of the prior year’s busiest activity.
“It’s fair to say that you can’t tell too much from a single week, but I believe that the industry is looking for a bellwether to tell us how the market is likely to perform this year in light of the quadruple whammy of Brexit, stamp duty changes, COVID-19, and the state of the broader economy.
“Our previous analysis throughout 2020 showed an immediate surge in mortgage activity, post any regional or national lockdown.
“If the trend continues through 2021, we should expect a significant bounce as the promises of a post-vaccine world and subsequent stability returns.”
“As you’d expect, we’ll report on the state of the market as it evolves this year.”