May 22, 2023 - News

Utah vacationers are swapping their homes

Data: U.S. Census and IPX; Chart: Tory Lysik and Simran Parwani/Axios Visuals

Buying a vacation home is out. Trading homes is in.

Our thought bubble: "The Holiday," anyone?

Driving the news: Home-swap networks are growing when owning a vacation property has become less attractive, Axios' Sami Sparber reports.

  • In April, San Francisco-based Kindred announced it raised $15 million to expand its members-only business into Europe.
  • The platform, which includes listings in Salt Lake City and Park City, has more than 2,500 homes in over 50 cities across North America and will debut later this year in major overseas cities such as London and Berlin.

The big picture: Demand for second homes nationwide is down more than half from pre-pandemic levels, fueled by high costs, a cooling short-term rental market and a pullback in remote work, per a new Redfin report.

Zoom in: Brian Head, Garden and Manila are the cities with the highest share of vacation homes in Utah.

  • Vacation homes comprise 3% of homes in the Beehive State, compared to the national average of 4%, Axios' Tory Lysik and Simran Parwani report, analyzing census data.
  • Of note: The Census Bureau defines vacation homes as vacant for "seasonal, recreational or occasional use."

What's happening: The sharing economy is flourishing. Axios' Joann Muller reports that people can increasingly rent everything from boats to swimming pools on Airbnb-style marketplaces.

How it works: Kindred has a "give-to-get" model: You earn credits toward booking a place by hosting a member in your own home.

  • The intrigue: There are no nightly rental fees. For each trip, members cover the cost of cleaning and a service fee capped at $25 per night.
  • Membership is pay-as-you-go, and there's a waitlist to join, as homes are accepted based on supply and demand across locations.

The bottom line: Sharing is caring — and one way to offset pricier vacations during what's expected to be a record-setting travel season.

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