If you’re considering applying for a mortgage so that you can buy your first home, you may be wondering whether it’s harder to get a mortgage than it once was. Well, unfortunately, it can be.

Here are just three reasons why that is the case.

1. Property Prices Are Simply Too High for Many People

The short answer to, “Is it getting harder to get a mortgage?” is yes; for many people, it is becoming more difficult to get approved for a mortgage. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a mortgage loan.

Your first step should be to use a mortgage calculator, such as that from the mortgage lender www.loandepot.com, to see how much you can afford to pay back each month and therefore know how much you can afford to spend on the cost of a home.

One key reason why many find it difficult to get a loan simply has to do with the costs of purchasing a home.

Home prices have risen sharply recently. Indeed, some markets have been at record highs. In turn, that means would-be homeowners need to borrow larger amounts in order to buy properties.

And many people simply can’t afford those high amounts or don’t have enough cash or a good enough credit score to be approved for a mortgage.

2. There Are Fewer Low-value Mortgages Around

Getting approval for a mortgage is especially difficult for families, according to research conducted in 2020 by The Urban Institute.

Many families look to purchase low-cost homes in urban, suburban, or rural communities – but accessing the small-dollar mortgages needed to finance the purchases are not as readily available as they used to be.

There are now fewer mortgage lenders offering small-dollar mortgages. Plus, when people do apply for small-dollar mortgages, it’s more likely that they will be denied in comparison to people who apply for larger loans.

So, low-value mortgages are still available, but finding them and being approved for them can be challenging.

You may think things have gotten better since that research was conducted in 2020. But, according to a report by the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage loans in the U.S. in May 2022 dropped by approximately 8.5%.

The report also states that the overall availability of mortgage credit is at its lowest point since September 2020, and therefore it’s much more difficult for many people to get a mortgage.

Typically, you will now need to have a higher credit score to be approved for a mortgage; or put down a larger down payment.

3. Covid-19 Has Played a Part in Making Approvals for Mortgages More Difficult

The Covid-19 outbreak has played a key role in some of the changes in the housing market. In terms of people finding it more difficult to obtain mortgages, the pandemic has caused many people to lose work and income and many people have not yet returned to financial normality.

If your income isn’t back to where it was pre-pandemic, it can be much more difficult to get approval for a mortgage.

Indeed, even if your income level has returned to pre-pandemic levels, your credit score will probably have been negatively affected in the meantime. And having a low credit score can make it much more challenging to obtain a loan from a mortgage provider.

You can get a general idea of what kind of credit score you need for mortgage approval by checking out this guide to the credit score you need to have to buy a house in Utah.