Search Activity Almost Halved In 4 Weeks

The volume of searches and total value of loans have fallen by two fifths over the past month.

According to Twenty7Tec’s ‘Weekly Mortgages Stats’ for the week ending April 4, the volume of searches were down by 20.87 per cent on the week previous and 39.69 per cent lower than two weeks ago.

Worryingly, as the residential property sector complies with governmental social distancing restrictions, search activity has fallen by 44.97 per cent over the past 4 weeks and searches for purchase mortgages are down 72.24 per cent.

Mortgage document activity is also struggling in the current climate with total documents produced down 26 per cent on a weekly basis, 37.39 per cent over a fortnight and 41.97 per cent lower than four weeks ago.

In turn, the value of loans are also considerably lower, falling by 27.43 per cent, 37.39 per cent and 43.20 per cent on a one, two and four week basis.

James Tucker, CEO of mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec says:

“The figures overall are clearly reflective of the challenges faced by the mortgage and property markets at this time. The daily search volumes this week are five of the six worst performing weekdays in the past four weeks, a similar story from the week before. The loan values being requested have dropped 43.20% over the past four weeks.

“There are glimmers of good news however. Buy to let is holding up and represents a higher percentage of the market than the long-term average (21.9% v 19.78%). Landlords may well have been buoyed by the Government’s decision not to grant rent holidays.

“The second relative piece of good news is that remortgage search volumes are still holding up. They have dropped by 14.71% in the past four weeks but compared to the drop in purchase searches (72.25%), it does show where the market has shifted to right now.

“The Government has rightly got its focus on whether or not social distancing is working and if we can pass through the peak of incidents over coming days. Our sense is that we are unlikely to see too many new policy announcements for our industry for at least another two weeks.

“In the meantime, I think that each of us needs to do what we do best: speak to our clients about their needs and help them as best we can.”