The IPv4 address transfer market started out on a positive note in January 2023. As in any market, there are ebbs and flows in demand which affects pricing. We just so happen to analyze an extremely unique industry that caters to a rare commodity that has a valuable use case in the global economy.
New budgets have become available, and organizations indicated they were ready to start buying IP addresses to fill their needs for the upcoming year. January IPv4 transfer requests increased to 149, which was +23% higher than the 121 requests in December 2022. Even better, January was +11% higher than the average transfer requests per month for the entire year of 2022. And compared to the previous 3-year average of 163 transfer requests per month, we are only down -8%. Seems to be a great start to the year, after a bearish 2022.
As predicted, prices have been fairly stable with little movement either up or down for IPv4 blocks ranging from /24’s and /18’s. Larger IPv4 subnets such as /17s and /16s have been selling quickly and are becoming rare again, allowing these prices to demand a 10% – 15% premium above the mid-range subnets. Anything larger than a /16 IPv4 subnet has an even higher premium, as they are negotiated with a small pool of buyers and are only available a handful of times throughout the year.
What can we expect for the next few months? If organizations continue to purchase IPv4 addresses at a rapid rate as they are now, we might be ready for another bull market. As discussed, unlike other normal bear markets, IPv4 addresses are rare and have a significant use case in the global economy. In the history of the IPv4 address market since 2015, we have only seen one time where prices decreased in 2018 – 2019, which only lasted around 8 months. Sooner than later, the bulls will likely come knocking…