Later life lending specialist Responsible Life has recorded a 52% annual surge in lifetime mortgages sales.

The broker advised on £41m of lifetime mortgages in August, up 51.9% from £27m in August 2019.

When drawdown facilities are included, the amount of lifetime mortgage business advised on by the company increased from £38m to £50m.

Responsible Life: Eight in 10 retirees cannot access mortgage solutions

Responsible Life attributed the lifetime mortgage market’s avoidance of the traditional summer slowdown to a combination of factors, including a strong rebound in house prices and a desire to move onto more predictable, long-term financial arrangements.

It comes amid the increasing popularity of lifetime mortgage products, which present those borrowers using pension drawdown to fund all or part of their retirement with an easier set of affordability criteria compared to traditional mortgages and retirement interest only (RIO) mortgages.

In June, Responsible Life’s sister company, the lifetime mortgage provider Responsible Lending, unveiled a low fixed rate of 2.45% AER (2.42% MER).

Steve Wilkie, executive chairman of Responsible Life, said: “The popularity of lifetime mortgages exploded last month thanks to a combination of low rates, robust property valuations in light of the stamp duty holiday and a desire among customers to secure their long-term financial arrangements following lockdown.

“The sector is certainly riding high and it will be interesting to see to what extent such strong annual growth rates can be sustained into the Christmas period.

“Funding for equity release products is liquid so the market has been able to satisfy this extra demand, while funding sources for other types of product have been more difficult to access, leading to a tightening in criteria.

“Equity release rates remain low and rate competition is still fierce. This will continue to draw new customers into the sector.”