Love Home Swap releases first annual report

Worldwide: Global home swapping platform Love Home Swap has released its new annual report ‘Home Swapping: The Future of Travel’, in which it reveals that home swapping could save consumers £65,200 on holidays over a 20-year period.

With 84 per cent of British homeowners having not yet released the holiday equity from their properties by joining a home swapping site, millions of pounds are currently being missed out on, according to the platform.

Commissioned by Love Home Swap to explore the reasons behind the home swapping trend’s solid double-digit growth for the past few years, the report reveals how and why swapping homes can offer travel-lovers the reassurance they are seeking in these uncertain times. And for homeowners, how this growing travel movement can unlock immense value in their homes.

Written by Zoe Dare Hall, an award-winning national property journalist, the report also reveals that whilst 84 per cent of consumers have never tried home swapping before:

  • 20 per cent think it would be a cost-effective way to explore a new area without paying for accommodation
  • 15 per cent think it would be intriguing to stay in someone else’s home
  • 13 per cent say it would be an exciting way to try somewhere completely different
  • Nine per cent say it would be a nice way to build a relationship with others.

Dare Hall said: “Home swapping is something that I’m new to, but by writing this report with Love Home Swap I’ve had my eyes opened to a whole new experience. To hear that I could potentially save more than £65,000 on holidays over the next 20 years solely from my own home is incredible.

“For the 84 per cent of consumers that have yet to try it, I would urge them to give it a go – not only for the monetary saving, but also because swapping homes can offer travellers the reassurance they are seeking in these uncertain times.

“I believe, with the transformation currently witnessed in changing lifestyles, travel patterns and consumer behaviour brought about by Covid-19, home swapping is likely to become one of the key trends to emerge from the pandemic due to the flexibility, sense of security and value for money it offers,” she added.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced all of us to reassess how we live, and how we travel. In our quest for more space or a different way of life, the pandemic has led many of us to improve our homes and made us value what our homes really mean to us, as well as the part they play in our all-round happiness.

Love Home Swap said it champions the concept of ‘turning your sofa into a surfboard’. This is the idea that a person’s home – which is usually taken for granted – can open up a new world of opportunities, including how each member can save an average of £1,065 per swap*.

Célia Pronto, managing director of Love Home Swap, describes it as using your home as ‘currency’, rather than spending unnecessary amounts of money on holiday accommodation.

She said: “So many people spend a lot of money on their homes. From saving up for an initial deposit and paying mortgage repayments, through to the cost of renovations and decorating, there’s often the aim of making money on your property whenever you sell it.

“But something that people don’t always think about is how they can get the most value from their homes while actually living there.

“When Love Home Swap was set up in 2011, the world was a very different place. We’ve always wanted people to enjoy experiences, not just holidays.

“Members of home swapping sites aren’t just swapping homes; to some extent, they’re swapping lives too. 85 per cent of our members seek travel for new experiences, which has never been more wanted and needed than today.

“At a pivotal moment of change for the travel industry and for the world as a whole, we’re delighted to present our first annual report: Home Swapping: The Future of Travel,” she added.

Merilee Karr, chair of the UK Short Term Accommodation Association [STAA], said: “There is a growing trend, highlighted by Love Home Swap’s new annual report, where homeowners use their properties when they are away to generate valuable income by swapping them with or renting them to other like-minded people. Partly because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we at the STAA have seen an increased demand from people looking for that ‘home-from-home’ experience and as this report reveals, home swapping is likely to become one of the key trends to emerge from the pandemic due to the exceptional travel possibilities, flexibility, enhanced health and safety and value-for-money which comes with staying in privately-owned accommodation.

“We are excited about the opportunities ahead, especially when Covid travel restrictions are relaxed, for UK homeowners to use their properties to fund their own travel by swapping with or renting to international visitors whilst they are away,” she added.

The full Home Swapping: The Future of Travel report can be read on the Love Home Swap website here.