A growing number of investors are potentially preparing for what they believe could be a good opportunity to buy property at bargain prices.
The volume of online mortgage searches increased 15.15% in the week ending 25 April, compared to the previous week, with buy-to-let representing a quarter of all searches.
Buy-to-let’s share is 24.49% of all searches over the past week, up from the long-term average of 19.78%, according to research by mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec.
James Tucker, CEO of Twenty7Tec, said: “Buy-to-let mortgage searches continue to represent an ever-larger proportion of the market – they currently constitute 24.37% of all searches, well above their long-term average of 19.78%.
“We saw a slight uptick in weekly remortgage searches also. These are up 1.03% on the prior week.”
The total volume of mortgage documents prepared during the week ending 25 April was up 19.07% and 12.91% compared to one and two weeks ago, respectively.
But compared to a month before, this is still a drop of 42.14%.
The total value of loans rose by 20.07% on a weekly basis, increased by 14.21% compared to two weeks before, and dropped by 44.14% over a four-week period.
During the week, purchase mortgages represented 31.92% of the market, up from recent lows of 24.5% but down compared to the usual figure of 55% to 60%.
Remortgages represented 68.08% of the market last week.
Search volumes for purchases rose by 26.18% compared to the week before, and 34.7% compared to four weeks previous.
The volume of purchase mortgage searches is still only at half of its pre-coronavirus levels.
Tucker said: “Thankfully, there are some good news stories in this week’s figures.
“Whilst the volumes are considerably lower than the high times of late February, it is possible that we are now starting to see the ‘end of the beginning’.
“Weekly search volumes for all types of mortgages, the total number of [European Standardised Information Sheet (ESIS)] documents prepared, and the values of mortgages requested, are up compared to the same period a week ago; and, again, to the same period two weeks ago.
“The total volume of mortgage searches also seems unaffected by the announcement that lockdown will need to be in place for a further three weeks at least.”