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Article by Sarah Hamilton-Walker | 30th September 2018

The Rise of the House-Sitter

What could you earn living in other people’s houses while they’re away?

An online local services marketplace has revealed that there has been a 340% increase in the number of people hiring ‘Professional House-Sitters’, with some sitters earning upwards of £200 a day to live in other people’s houses while they are away. The rise comes as it has been revealed renting is more expensive than a mortgage in all areas of the UK.

Bark.com has been tracking the demand for ‘Pro House-Sitters’ since June 2017, and has found that since this time last year, it has gone up by 340%.

When speaking to its ‘Pro House-Sitters’, Bark.com also found that:

• More than a third (34%) said they house sit full-time, and don’t have a place of their own.
• More than half (57%) of house-sitters who don’t have their own place also don’t have a job outside of professional house-sitting.
• Cornwall and London hired the most house-sitters in the last year.

Research from Santander Mortgages has revealed that it is now cheaper to buy a house than rent one in every area of the UK, with homeowners set to save £2,268 a year, on average.

When speaking to people who had hired a house-sitter through the site, Bark.com also found that more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents said that fear of burglary was their main reason for doing so. More than half (61%) of respondents said not wanting to put their pet into kennels was the main reason they hired a house-sitter.

Bark.com is a site where members of the public can find and connect with local service professionals. Its Co-founder Kai Feller, said: “House-sitting tends to be something that relatives and friends do when someone’s on holiday. However, in recent years there’s been an upward trend in people looking elsewhere for the service, and for people without close family or friends, finding a house-sitter can be extremely difficult.

“The housing market is ever-changing, and just recently Santander Mortgages revealed that it is actually cheaper to buy a house than rent in every area in the UK. It’s no wonder people are looking for alternative ways to live.”

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