Internet searches for loans and mortgages are on the up as lending drops to its lowest point since 2000.
Figures just released by Greenlight have reported that out of two million consumers 61 per cent of those using online retail banking services were searching for loans and mortgages in October 2010. Industry data was collected to identify the 750 most popular key search terms which saw loans top the list, making up one third of all searches. Mortgages came in second at 28 per cent and they were followed by bank accounts and credit cards in third and fourth position.
In spite of this spike in customer interest the Council of Mortgage Lenders have shown that lending figures are falling. 2010 saw total mortgage lending down five per cent on 2009 at £136.3 billion, the lowest annual level since the millennium.
The value of mortgages agreed by lenders also fell for the third successive year, and as inflation reaches 3.7 per cent, almost 2 per cent higher than the Bank of England’s target of 2 per cent, the CML have warned of a similar rise interest rates. Paul Hunt is the managing director of financial systems provider Phoebus Software and explains the trend stating that looming unemployment and spiralling inflation have left lenders convinced borrowers’ finances will not remain stable through 2011.
Are these figures enough to make customers think twice about applying for a mortgage this year?