The .homes new gTLD has struggled for registrations since its launch in May 2016 attracting just shy of 400 registrations. It was a restricted new gTLD for businesses in real estate, property development or providing mortgage services. As of 14 January this all changes, with eligibility restrictions abolished and the registry fee reduced in a bid to boost registrations.
The relaunch next week will see the generic top level domain being made available to anyone, anywhere and the standard registration and renewal wholesale pricing reduced making .homes more affordable and price competitive. Annual wholesale renewal pricing for premium .homes domains will also be lowered to be in line with standard registration renewal pricing.
Expect registrar fees of below US$20 per year to be common, much cheaper than the $200 or more which is currently commonplace.
The registry for .homes, Dominion Registries, operates a handful of industry-specific new gTLDs in addition to .homes: .autos, .boats, .yachts, and .motorcycles. Their mission is to provide high quality, website addresses to the residential real estate, automotive, marine and powersports communities.
One of these, .boats, also had its registrant eligibility requirements dropped 11 months ago. On 15 February 2018, .Dominion Registries made .boats domain names available to everyone, without the need for verification. Since then .boats domains under management have grown from 196 to today’s 452. However .boats domain names are still commonly around the $200 mark.
According to an announcement by Dominion in December 2017, registrant eligibility restrictions are being dropped on all their new gTLDs, with the remaining new gTLDs – .autos, .motorcycles and .yachts – following in coming months following approval by ICANN.
The relaunch with changes to eligibility and registry fee reduction commences at exactly 16:00 UTC on 14 January 2019. At that time all eligibility, verification and proxy restrictions will be removed and registration will be available on a first-come, first served basis. A claims (RCP) period will be in effect until 0:00 UTC 15 April 2019.