Advise Wise sees 139% increase in later life searches in 2024

Advise Wise saw a 139% increase in the number of later life mortgage searches in early 2024, compared with December 2023.

The majority of customers (52%) were still seeking maximum release, with 32% having a defined lump sum in mind and 16% looking at drawdown options.

The average amounts released for lump sums were around the £118,000 mark with drawdown plans at a lower £61,000.

In terms of plan features nearly 6% of searches are wanting plans with some form of monthly payments up from 4% in 2023 and fixed early repayment charges (ERCs) still remain popular with customers and advisers on plans.

Advise Wise have also seen signs of improvement in the range of solutions for customers, with an increase of 163% in the number of searches for retirement interest only (RIO) products in the start of 2024, as advisers take on board their responsibilities under Consumer Duty and start looking at a wide range of options rather than just equity release.

Benjamin Well, head of product and development, said: “Last month we saw a very positive start of the year in terms of platform activity and product sourcing, which reflects the pressing need for solutions amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

“There is also an increased focus on a variety of solutions for clients, with a substantial rise in searches for RIO products, as advisers are embracing a broader range of options moving beyond traditional equity release.”

He continued: “It’s worth noting a change in customer preferences with the rising interest in plans with monthly payments, while fixed early repayment charges remain popular, indicating a continued appeal for stability among both customers and advisors. 

“We’ve also assisted in an impressive growth in users, signalling a positive response from many new advisors and firms, moving towards our innovative and user-friendly platform.”