UK: When lockdown restrictions finally eased this summer, many people seized the opportunity to travel all over the UK, packing their bags and enjoying much-needed staycations, whilst others considered a more permanent move. A study by home swap site Love Home Swap found that over a quarter [28 per cent] of UK consumers were likely to consider moving to a new house in the next six months.
As financial worries and job security continue to be a concern across the UK, the Chancellor’s removal of stamp duty on property purchases up to £500,000 and the widespread switch to working from home means there has been a mass re-evaluation of how we live. Having spent so much time in their current homes during lockdown, consumers have been able to reflect on how they spend their life and long commutes, a lack of inside space or garden, no longer wanting to live in a busy city and feeling they need to be closer to relatives all play a role in the decision to relocate.
In fact, over half [52 per cent] of consumers said they want to improve their work / life balance for the long term following the pandemic and whilst 37 per cent of consumers had not considered trying out a new house, city, town, area or neighbourhood before moving home, 42 per cent wish they could and just over a third [35 per cent] are likely to do so before moving permanently – which is where home swapping can play a role.
When asked why they would like to use a home swap to ‘try before they buy’ answers ranged from ensuring they make the right decision [29 per cent], as a chance to get to know the area [29 per cent] and the local community [23 per cent], the opportunity to see whether there are good schools and job opportunities [15 per cent] and a good way to see what they can get for their money [17 per cent]. Almost a fifth [19 per cent] also answered that it would be a good way to experience different parts of the UK and two thirds [66 per cent] feel you only get to know an area after a few weeks, not just a few days.
Love Home Swap managing director Célia Pronto said: “It’s hardly surprising, after spending so long inside our homes this year and so much time with our thoughts about the bigger picture, so many are considering moving. It’s also not surprising that people are likely to be cautious about their next move, and so for us it’s refreshing to hear how many consumers are open to ‘trying before they buy’.
“We know from this survey that 36 per cent cite one of the reasons holding them back from moving to a new area being a worry they may not like it there and 45 per cent of consumers have known people to regret where they moved to because they didn’t know what the area was like before committing.
“This is where home swapping can play a pivotal role. Not only is it an affordable way to try out different style homes and areas, it is also a great way to get to know the community, neighbourhood and everything that makes these places tick, through our wonderful members,” she added.
The Love Home Swap platform aims to be an “easy and cost-effective” way of travelling, aiming to help homeowners get the maximum value from their home.
The platform’s community of homeowners reside in over 100 countries, including the UK, US, France, Australia, Ireland and Spain, that use the platform to travel both within the UK and all over the world. Love Home Swap’s vision is to remain a leading online swapping platform, with a strategy of working with like-minded businesses to engage with its community and further grow the home swapping opportunity.
Pronto added: “As part of our growth strategy for 2021, we’ve set out to collaborate with like-minded businesses across the property, leisure and financial service sectors to provide their customers with an innovative way to extract extra value from their homes, with a suite of commercial incentives to suit strategic needs from many different businesses.”