There was a lot of consolidation in the home exchange industry over the past year. While working on my annual review of all house swap networks I found a lot of smaller websites shut down. Since June 2016 15 home exchange networks have closed, and one pivoted into rentals. I often don’t notice when smaller networks shut down. I don’t use them, and it’s not likely the networks will make a big press event about their failure. So this post is where you can learn about what’s happened over the past year.
There were also quite a few acquisitions this past year. I’ve already reported on the Guest to Guest acquisitions of Home for Home, Trampolinn and HomeExchange.com. In addition UK Holiday Swap Shop was acquired by Home for Exchange, which in turn was acquired by Love Home Swap. Home for Exchange is still operating independently of LHS, but UK Holiday Swap Shop just redirects to Home for Exchange now.
There are now 70 active home exchange networks. However 10 of those are owned by another (usually larger) house swap company. And another 4 are all displaying the same listings under different names as a part of the First Home Exchange Alliance. You can find information on ownership of networks by looking at the Affiliate column in my spreadsheet.
Below is a list of the home exchange websites that closed over the past year. For reference I’ve include their launch date as well as last know membership count. As you can see most networks that closed were quite small.
Home exchange networks closed since June 2016
Digsville – opened in 1999, 3400 members
Simply Home Exchange – opened 2007, 1200 members (the website says: “Simply Home Exchange is Currently Being Redeveloped and Updated” so it’s possible they will come back.)
Home Exchange Place – unknown launch date, 900 members
Home Welcome – opened 1997, 600 members
Case Versa – opened 2012, 450 members
Switch Houses – unknown launch date, 300 members
restate.co – opened in 2016
Seniors Home Exchange – unknown launch date, 3500 members
Tradvia – opened in 2013, 250 members
Happy Home Swap – opened in 2010, 500 members
Local Home Swap – Canada focused, opened in 2013, 100 members
NightSwapping – Seems to have gone entirely into rentals. They still have a nominal concept of earning “nights” but those are also convertible into money so I’ve removed this site.
Home Swap & Rent – Australia focused, unknown launch date, 6 members
Jewish Swap – Opened 2009
Golf Home Exchange – opened in 2009, 70 members
Bobzio – opened in 2010, 14 members
Vakantiehuizenruil – Dutch swap site, opened in 2004, 80 members