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News: To swap or not to swap?

A recent survey by propertyfinder.com reveals how house swapping is on the rise...

Would you swap your home?

Propertyfinder.com asked nearly 1000 people about home swapping and revealed that it is surprisingly popular. Half of respondents knew about home swapping and 18% said it was something they would consider, although less than 3% had actually done it.

The people most likely to do a home swap were between the ages of 31 and 35 with 63.8% of this age group saying they would consider exchanging homes for a holiday. However, single people emerged as the people least likely to consider a home swap, perhaps opting for more sociable holidays. People with families were the most enthusiastic respondents, citing affordability as the most popular reason for choosing a home swapping holiday.

English-speaking destinations favoured

The USA is the top destination respondents would choose, as 15% opted for that country.  Surprisingly, a swap with someone elsewhere in Britain came second, while Australia, Canada and New Zealand all scored above 10%.

The least popular destinations for home swappers were Eastern Europe (1.2%), even the new EU members only scored 1.7% of the vote. Respondents favoured Western European destinations, preferences seemingly dependent on where the sun shines the hottest. Other regions that scored particularly badly for a house swap were Africa (1.4%) and Asia (2.1%).

Percentage breakdown of most popular destinations

Country

Popularity

USA

15.0%

UK

12.1%

Australia

11.6%

Canada

10.5%

New Zealand

10.4%

Spain, Italy and Other Mediterranean

9.5%

France

5.6%

Japan

4.3%

Scandinavia

3.6%

South Africa

3.5%

Germany

2.8%

South America

2.4%

Other Western Europe

2.2%

Other Asia

2.1%

Eastern Europe (EU)

1.7%

Other Africa

1.4%

Eastern Europe (non-EU)

1.2%

Total

100%

You're not staying here!

The research shows that people in the UK are reluctant to let some people into their homes, particularly those who don’t speak the same language as them. The results showed that the respondents were more trusting of most English speaking countries, although 19% said they would not trust a fellow Brit in their home!

Warren Bright, Chief Executive Officer of Propertyfinder.com said: “People are clearly drawn to English speaking countries with strong cultural affinities to the UK as the top five most popular destinations are English speaking. With house swapping often a cheaper alternative to many holidays, people can afford to travel further, perhaps offering an alternative explanation for why we are not so keen to swap with our European neighbours.”

Holiday or road test?

The favourite destinations for house swappers closely reflect the choice of country to which UK citizens emigrate.  The top six overseas home swapping destinations are all among the top seven countries to which Britons move.

Top emigration destinations for British citizens 2000-2004 (thousands)

Australia

165

Spain

113

USA

80

France

60

New Zealand

49

Germany

47

Canada

27

Netherlands

24

UAE

15

Japan

14

Bright added: “House swapping is an excellent way to experience life as a resident rather than a visitor. It gives you a more realistic taste of life in an area and is a means by which to test the water if you are considering a more permanent move.

“At first glance, the popularity of UK destinations seems surprising, but it makes sense as a way of trying a region for size before buying a second home, or making a permanent move.  It is however amusing how little we trust other Brits in our homes!”

 

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