Halifax and Google unite to bust property jargon 

Halifax and Google unite to bust property jargon 

Halifax has teamed up with search engine giant Google to create a service aimed at simplifying property investment by clarifying what can be confusing mortgage terms for potential homebuyers. 

Called the Halifax Jargon Buster, the service has been designed using simple analogies and videos to help demystify the mortgage process.

Advisers are being encouraged to use it with mortgage clients, especially first-time buyers, to help them become more educated about buying a property.

Tim Male, head of innovation and communications at Halifax, said: “Buying a home is usually the biggest financial commitment we make in a lifetime, and we know that mortgage and property market terms can feel difficult to grasp - with many people turning to Google for help.

"As part of our commitment to the mortgage market, this felt like the perfect opportunity to join forces with Google to help people navigate the home buying process more confidently and get a step closer to their dream home.”

The service is accessible using Google Assistant and tailors illustrations of a particular property term to the prospective borrower, in order to provide prospective buyers with a confident grasp of the rhetoric and help them to navigate the home-buying process more effectively. 

For first time buyers in particular the Jargon Buster can offer greater certainty over fees involved when buying a home - including costs the potential borrower had previously not anticipated, such as stamp duty, which accounts for the second largest cost after estate agency fees.

Google’s top 10 property search terms
Search TermAverage monthly number of searches
Stamp Duty500,000
Buy-to-let mortgage200,000
Help To Buy ISA200,000
Interest only mortgage40,000
Fixed mortgage30,000
Account fee20,000
Land Registry fees20,000
Offset mortgage20,000
Property Valuation20,000
Data for 2016

In addition Halifax has integrated its current research into the model, for instance indicating rises in fees for different property area codes, which Mr Male said would help provide a more informed picture to the homebuyer. 

David Hollingworth, associate director of communications for L&C Mortgages, said: “With an endless pool of terms attached to mortgages that continue to confuse investors it makes perfect sense, with the advanced technology available to us, to design a system that offer investors a straightforward take on this process.

"This [sort of service] will ultimately speed up the execution of a contract and benefits all parties involved in the process.” 

Natasha Wren is an intern at FTAdviser