Vetted mortgage applications that have been rejected by lenders so far this year hit 8.8%, almost four times the 2.3% of applications turned down in 2007.
All applications had been qualified against lender criteria prior to submission.
Louise Cuming, head of mortgages at moneysupermarket.com, says: “Lending criteria has become too strict – even vetted applications that we would expect to be accepted without a hitch are being rejected.
“Assessing affordability is key for lenders and everyone has to be much more realistic about what they can borrow.
“The most anyone can reasonably hope for is four times their salary – anything over this is more likely to be rejected.”