Are NNN.co and NNNN.co type domains the next to rise in value?
2015 has seen a big jump in NN.com prices and demand, up through to even NNNNNN.com domains, with much of the action coming from China. Numbers are universal and so is .com, and numbers also have a lot of meaning to many Chinese people. 8 is lucky, 4 is unlucky, some combinations of numbers have more meaning that others, and in domaining circles articles are being written on the interpretation of numbers to different cultures, so that domainers can have a better understanding of what could be in demand.
The .co extension is very similar to .com, and is easier to type. The .cc extension has been gaining some ground in China, and numeric .cc domains already have some demand from what I've seen in domain auctions. If there was some promotion by the dotCO Registry in China, and with the prices of numeric .com's so high, it's not hard to imagine that numeric .co's could start to gain popularity in China simply due to the country's large internet population and the scarcity and pricing of numeric .com's. The recent sale of 9595.com for $180,000 is on the extreme end, but NNNN.com regularly sell for five figures now.
When I started looking into numeric .co earlier this year, a random check of NNNN.co domains showed many resolving or pointing to Asian webpages. So to some extent the use of numeric .co's is already being adopted. All NNN.co are registered, but not all NNNN.co are taken, you can still hand reg some. I haven't checked to see how many NNNN.co are available out of the 10,000 possible combinations, but just about all with triple (e.g.: 555, 777) combinations in them are gone, and the same with starting or ending double 55 and 88, and other popular patterns. I made a list a while back of combinations I liked, and when I check it from time to time there are always a few gone.
Now this isn't an article saying that .com will be replaced, it's just a supply and demand argument, and 1,000 NNN.com's and 10,000 NNNN.com's really isn't that much in a 6 billion world. And if your first choice is a numeric .com but it's taken or too pricey, the .co is such a similar extension it could therefore get some traction. I wouldn't dabble in NNNNN.co's because 100,000 combinations is a lot, and shorter is better, especially when there are LLLL.co's still available to be had.
I'm not recommending anyone go out and sell the farm to get into LLLL.co domains, this is just one opinion of something that may be on the horizon (or not). Even if numeric .co's can reach 5 or 10% of their .com counterparts, that would be a great return.
About 7 or 8 years ago you could still hand reg tons of NNNNN.com domains, or in more recent years get them in domain forums for $10 to $20 each. I remember the countdown going on until they were all taken. Also in recent years you could have gotten the crappy letter LLLL.com's for dollars each in forums. Now these types of domains sell for many hundreds of dollars or more, and no one really saw it coming. Loading up on the above types of domains would have been easy and cheap in the last 5 years, and resulted in impressive gains.
Now what will be the next trend in the domaining world that we don't see coming?