Analysing Google Trends: Mortgages
We take a detailed look at trending topics on Google to find out what the wider market sentiment is regarding mortgages and interest rates.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Analysing trending topics on Google is an interesting, yet speculative way to assess the general market sentiment.
Of-course, there are a myriad of factors which affect the UK’s mortgage marketplace, and we’d just like to point out that Google trends are a lagging indicator.
What’s a lagging indicator I hear you ask? A lagging indicator shows you an outcome after the fact.
Example: Mortgage Interest rates are in the news as lenders begin to put their rates up. After a brief delay, you may see the search term “mortgage interest rates” start to climb in the rankings.
The more people who search google for “mortgage interest rates” the higher the search term will climb in their search rankings, pointing towards a growing concern in the wider marketplace.
What mortgage searches are rising?
5 year Fixed-rate mortgages
Given the fact that mortgage interest rates are rising, it’s no surprise to see an increasing interest in longer term fixed-rate products.
Typically, 5 year fixed-rate mortgages come with a higher interest rate than 2 year fixed-rate products. This is because the longer a lender fixes your interest rate, the higher the risk that interest rates could move up and leave them out of pocket.
So, when we see more clients choosing to pay higher monthly repayments for better long-term security, it could be concluded that borrower’s attitude towards risk is beginning to change.
The graph below shows the interest in variable rate mortgages over time. It’s no surprise that searches for variable rate mortgages have never recovered from it’s all time high in 2008 when the housing market crashed, interest rates flew up and many homeowners were forced to hand their keys back.
We can see that searches for variable-rate mortgages increased briefly in 2020 during the on-set of the pandemic. Although, since then searches for this type of mortgage have reduced back to their pre-pandemic levels.
The google search results for “mortgage interest rates” is also steadily increasing. Once again, fear was at an all-time-high after the housing market crash in 2008 so that is when Google registered the most searches for this topic.
Whilst we aren’t there yet, if the trend continues in its current direction, we will soon see the highest number of searches for this topic since 2017.
How much is my house worth?
Lastly, we look at the search term ‘how much is my house worth?’ and this one is very interesting. Google hit an all time high for this search term in January 2022 and it seems as though we are about to reach those highs again in May 2022.
We find this search particularly interesting as the UK housing market supply isn’t currently meeting the huge demand for properties. Yet UK homeowners are clearly becoming increasingly interested in what their properties are worth. Despite this increasing interest, searches for Estate Agents remains the same (below).
How about you?
How do you feel about the market right now?
Are you concerned about mortgage interest rates?
Would you pay more to fix your mortgage for longer?
Let us know in the comments…