Record job moves drives employment related searches – latest Knowledge Bank tracker results reveal

Brokers are working with numerous borrowers who have started new jobs, Knowledge Bank’s latest criteria tracker results reveal. With the jobs market now back in full swing, ‘time in employment’ featured heavily in brokers searches in February, both in the residential market and in the second charge sector.

Despite rising costs of living, the economy has begun to settle and those who had postponed moving roles due to the uncertainty, appear to now feel confident enough to change jobs. As a result, at the end of 2021 job-to-job moves reached record numbers in October to December 2021, according to the latest ONS figures.

Alongside working with those new to role, brokers were also searching for ‘missed or late payments’ and ‘defaults – registered in the last three years’ in the residential market. Despite more economic certainty, the financial damage caused by the pandemic is still being felt by some borrowers.

There were some positives in the second charge sector, as brokers searched for ‘capital raising – purchase a buy-to-let’. The rental market continues to be of interest to new investors and as a result, ‘first-time landlord’ and ‘first-time buyer’ both featured prominently in brokers searches in the buy-to-let arena.

Another trend that tracks across the residential and second charge sectors is ‘maximum age at end of term’. Brokers in the residential market have been consistently searching for maximum age since Knowledge Bank began tracking searches in July 2018. However, this was the first-time the term has appeared in the most-searched terms in the second charge market since October 2021.

Regulated bridging’ continues to dominate searches in the bridging sector, with February marking the fourth consecutive month it was the most-searched term. Outside of regulated searches, for the first-time in four months, brokers were searching in numbers for ‘commercial property’. With the changing face of the office as more and more businesses adopt hybrid working models, borrowers may be using bridging loans to adapt commercial spaces, either to accommodate hybrid working, or to completely repurpose the property.

Matthew Corker, operations director at Knowledge Bank explained brokers’ searches are indicative of the returning jobs market. He 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.

“Lenders’ criteria varies when it comes to time in employment. Some are happy to receive a written confirmation of the offer and the first-months’ pay-slip. Others require any probationary period to be passed before they’ll consider the borrower.

“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 lending landscape has been evolving rapidly recently. 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. 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.”