Buying a vacation home is out. Trading homes is in.
Home-swap networks are growing as owning a vacation property has become less attractive.
- Our thought bubble: "The Holiday," anyone?
Driving the news: Home-swap networks are growing, as owning a vacation property has become less attractive.
- Last month, San Francisco-based Kindred announced it raised $15 million to expand its members-only business into Europe.
- The platform, which includes listings in Chicago, has more than 2,500 homes in over 50 cities across North America and will debut in major overseas cities such as London and Berlin this year.
The big picture: Nationwide, demand for second homes 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: Chicagoland is feeling that decline, Chicago Realtor Nick Libert tells Axios.
- Higher interest rates are slashing affordability, while stricter local rules for short-term rentals have curbed demand, he says.
Yes, but: There are still some great reasons to buy a vacation home, says Libert, founder and CEO at Exit Strategy Realty.
- Properties near water or that offer access to outdoor activities "still have a great draw to them, even if it's something you can't turn around and easily use as an Airbnb."
Between the lines: The way people travel has changed, boosting the "sharing economy" that's now flush with Airbnb-style rental 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.
- 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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