There has been a “huge uptick” in Londoners renting out their homes by the hour, as a cost of living crisis and an explosion in content producing for the likes of TikTok and YouTube collide, according to one property venture’s boss.
After launching in the UK last year, Peerspace, a marketplace for “off the beaten track” event spaces, has seen a rise in people trying to offset the cost of soaring rents, CEO Eric Shoup told City A.M. yesterday.
Shoup, a former eBay and Ancestry.com executive, added that the company has seen a more than 170 per cent rise in bookings in the UK since December.
“We’re very excited about the London market, it’s a huge city, huge financial centre, but also a huge production centre globally,” he said, adding that the rise of the influencer, popularity of so-called very weddings, corporate happy hours and out-of-office meetings have carried the company post-lockdown.
The average cost for renting a property in the capital is around £80-£100 per hour, Shoup noted, adding that it has the potential to dwarf earnings by longer-term rival AirBnB.
“That might be what they charge for an overnight stay. But you’re earning that within an hour,” he continued.
Shoup added that lets of several hours as opposed to overnight stays were “less invasive” for those renting out their homes.
“It’s easy for hosts to see bookings which are easily over £1,000 for one booking,” he said. “It doesn’t take many bookings in a month to make difference in offsetting their rent cost.”
Riding on the desire to welcome paying strangers into your home while you’re at work, the company was unsure it was going to survive pandemic-era social distancing measures.
However, the “absolute explosion in production market need” thanks to social media apps has spurred a “huge demand for our services” post-lockdown, said Shoup.
“We struggled quite a bit in early 2020, and honestly weren’t sure if we were going to survive,” he continued, adding that in the end “we exited 2020 at a higher point of revenue than we had entered.”
The US-based company launched in London and Manchester last year and also operates across Australia, France, having first launched in the States in 2014.
Peerspace, which snagged £13.5m in its last funding round in 2018, is now looking to expand to other cities in the UK, as well as across Australia and France, as the company continues to see “people seeking us out more so than we’ve seen in the past,” Shoup noted.