Japan’s home-sharing market is poised for a shift away from couch surfing toward professional services after the passage of a law regulating short-term rentals.
The change will help HomeAway play to its strengths in the battle against Airbnb Inc., according to Natsuko Kimura, country manager for Expedia Inc.’s home-rental subsidiary.
The bill enacted in June lets people in Japan rent out property without the risk of running into regulatory hurdles. The law limits total stays to 180 nights a year and requires that accommodation providers register with local governments. The regulations also increase oversight of absentee landlords, requiring owners to outsource property management to parties capable of guaranteeing safety and hygiene.
While Airbnb has taken the lead in Japan with 52,000 listings, HomeAway’s focus on luxury vacation properties gives the company an advantage as the market expands beyond individuals sharing spare rooms, according to Kimura. Entire homes for rent already account for about 90 percent of HomeAway’s less than 10,000 listings in Japan, she said.
The regulatory green light for home-sharing has been accompanied […]