A rush for cut-price property by bargain-hunting buyers has led to an increase in fraudulent mortgage applications, with the number of inflated salary claims soaring.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders told The Times that its members had reported the increase in the face of scarce loans and stricter lending rules.

Sue Anderson, of the CML, said: 'This is to do with fewer mortgage products, tighter criteria and an increase in demand. Lenders have become a lot more vigilant.'

The Times