Rise noted in mortgage refusals

The number of vetted mortgage applications that have been declined has risen almost four-fold in the past two years.

In 2007, around 2.3 per cent of pre-checked requests were knocked back, compared to 8.8 per cent so far this year, according to figures from moneysupermarket.com.

These applications had been vetted before being submitted and seemed likely to be accepted on paper – however, the lenders still found reason to block them.

Website mortgage expert Louse Cuming explained even those who would ordinarily expect to be accepted can no longer be sure.

"Credit histories play an important part in the process and any blemishes will make finding a mortgage increasingly difficult," she said, before adding that it is advisable to ensure all debt repayments are made promptly.

With such difficulty and uncertainty in the market, some may decide that it is better to improve their property with a conservatory or kitchen extension, rather than move to a larger home.

Those who do go down this route should be vigilant of garden criminals, who are more likely to strike during the summer months, according to Halifax Home Insurance.