February sees market back in full swing

Mortgage Solutions

Despite being the shortest month of the year, there was no let up in February as consumers continued to search the web in their hundreds of thousands looking for financial advice.

Overall, mortgage enquiries remained high and this was matched by equally strong demand for leads as advisers got back into full swing after the Christmas break for many extended into early January.

In February, online enquiries in our own market place were pushing the 30,000 mark for the month, with remortgage leads again the biggest category taking almost 67% of all mortgage enquiries.

First-time buyer leads again came second with almost 18% of enquiries, followed by next-time buyers and finally buy-to-let leads bringing up the rear with 6% of enquiries.

Focusing on the purchase mortgage lead market over the last couple of months, there were some notable trends for first-time buyer, next-time buyer and buy-to-let leads between January and February.

For these three products as a whole, daily lead flow increased by around 5% between January and February.

Average LTVs remained steady at around 74% across all loan amounts, postal areas and credit grades. The main significant change was that average loan values were up £3,000 from an average of £132,600 in January to £135,800 in February.

Looking at which areas of the UK generated the most enquiries, it was a similar picture to January with Birmingham, Sheffield, South East London, Manchester and Leicester as the five most popular areas.

Over three-quarters of first-time buyer enquiries in February were from prime consumers. Average LTVs for prime first-time buyers fell 1% between January and Feb to an average of 78%, while average loan sizes increased £2,000 to £127,000 across the month.

For home movers, average LTVs remained steady across the two months at 69%, with average loan sizes up a substantial £7,000 to £165,800.

The number of enquires from sub-prime customers fell from 14% of all enquiries in January to under 10% in February.

Meanwhile, the buy-to-let market remained steady with LTVs up 1% to just under 70%. Average loan values also rose by £1,000 to just under £120,000 in February.

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