China Controls One Third Of All Liquid Domains: GGRG’s Latest LXDO Report

GGRG Brokerage Consulting has published the eleventh edition of their Liquid Domains Overview (LXDO), which focuses on the 614,928 .com domains we call “liquid”. The latest report, covering the fourth quarter of 2018, once again found the most developed categories are 2Ls (letters) .com domain names, followed by 3Ls and 2Cs (characters). The report shows the least developed categories are numeric domains led by the 5Ns (numbers), followed by 4Ns and the 3Ns.

The objective of the LXDO report is to present key statistics and generate a debate amongst the industry stakeholders about the fair value of such domains.

The report found 2018 ended with a reversal of trends from the second and third quarters, with China gaining about 22,500 domains (+3.67%) and controlling about one-third of all the liquid domains, especially numerics. Once again, the largest movement in ownership came from domains going from public to private. Private domains now represent 38% of all liquid domains. This is a continued trend since the inception of GDPR in the second quarter (May 2018), which caused the number of liquid domains under privacy to almost double in less than one year. 2Ns and 3Ns have the most private registrations with over 50% of each category having masked WHOIS data. There is also an observed correlation between average domain value and number of domains under privacy.

The US controls 17% of the liquid domains, while Europe and the rest of the world excluding China, account for 10% combined. 4Ls .com domains registered a record $8.6M in transactions, by far the best result since the publication of this report. The second largest domain sales volume belongs to the 3Ls, with almost $5M in transactions; followed by the 4Ns which registered one of their strongest quarters with $2.7M in sales. There was no data available for 2Ls, 2Ns, 2Cs, and 3Ns, but ShortNames records a disclosed 2 letter .com transaction of $700,000. ShortNames also shows $1 million in public 5N transactions, which is consistent with 2018 sales volumes.

The 5th percentile values continue to show single- and double-digits losses. 5Ns saw the worst performance, declining 11.63%, followed by the 3Ls (10.62%). 3Cs also recorded a significant loss of 7.53%. The notable exception was the 4Ls which appear to have bottomed in the prior quarter. The category registered a 12.37% 5th percentile increase, effectively bouncing back from the $100 support level (last quarter the value was $97) and reaching the $109 5th percentile level over 1,800 disclosed transactions. Median prices do not show any significant variation, with the notable exception of 3Cs which show a 61% increase.

Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2019, the LXDO report notes it is normally a slow quarter for Liquid Domains due to the reduced activity from China due to the Chinese New Year. Unless there are large end user transactions, GGRG forecasts a slow beginning to 2019. It will be interesting to observe whether the 4 letter’s 5th percentile values will stay above the $100 support or whether they will continue the general declining trend of other liquid categories.

GGRG’s Q4 2018 LXDO report is available for download in full from: