House swaps happen every summer.

A family with a house on the coast swaps keys with a couple in the Chilterns. As long as the participants play by the house rules and guests are happy to feed the cat, everyone’s a winner. This is the usual set up.

Not any more. A Home Swap in south Bucks this month has taken the concept to a new level altogether.

It is one of the largest of its kind in the public sector. What’s more it’s permanent. No going home at the end of the week.

Thanks to the deal arranged between two housing associations, more than 500 families and singletons living in rented accommodation in Wycombe have a new landlord.

The Wooburn Green-based Paradigm housing group has taken over a total of 1,338 homes previously owned and managed by The Guinness Partnership including 527 in the Wycombe area.

For its part Guinness has added 1,133 homes in Hillingdon and Hounslow to its property portfolio previously owned by Paradigm.

Whereas, until March 8 when the changes came into force, Paradigm owned 758 houses and flats in the Wycombe area, the new arrangement has boosted the number to 1,285.

Matthew Bailes, Paradigm’s CEO believes the geographic basis for the realignment of assets will enable all those affected to gain the advantage from strength in numbers. He said: “Both organisations now have a greater concentration of homes in their respective areas. This will allow us to provide cost-efficient services to our residents, invest in our homes and services and continue to build new affordable homes in the future.”

Meanwhile, according to Zoopla, many private sector landlords are bailing out while the going’s good.

The website’s property expert Nicky Burridge says the number of previously rented homes for sale “has been on a steep upward trajectory in all regions of England and Wales during the past year.

She observed: “Landlords may simply be selling properties to crystallise gains following recent strong house price growth (up 4.3 per cent in the year to the end of January 2021) or [they may have been] prompted to sell up following speculation that capital gains tax rates were set to be increased in the Budget, although when the Chancellor delivered his statement he only announced that the threshold at which the tax kicks in would be frozen until April 2026.”

According to the online agents “the outlook for the rental market depends to a large extent on how quickly the vaccine reduces the impact of Covid to enable normal business to resume. “Even then,” warn experts “ flexible working is likely to continue, meaning there may be a permanent shift in priorities for some renters.

“Overall, uncertainty created by the pandemic, rising unemployment and limited mortgage availability for buyers with small deposit will continue to drive the market for rented homes. That, combined with lack of supply will support rental growth in the long run.”