With 2019 just beginning, it’s an opportune time to theorize on the current state of the domain name market and speculate on what might happen in the coming months.
The trend is your friend and registrations keep climbing worldwide every single passing year. It’s like the bar business, when the economy is good people drink and when it’s bad people drink. In domaining terms, people reinvent themselves by buying new names.
It seems that most businesses relying on the Internet now recognize that obtaining a strong domain name is a critical investment. Global demand is growing, while the availability of top-quality domains is shrinking, so valuations are on the rise. High-quality domain names would serve well as memorable, powerful brands.
We will see more consolidation in retail, and more drops on the gTLD’s. There are a number of issues with the global economy including a bear market in stocks, a weakening economy, a messy Brexit and the ongoing trade tensions between China and the US. Quite a few of the issues have a direct or indirect impacts on domain market. 2019 should see a slight slowdown in the global economy, and as a result, we will see a new group of domain owners—previously on the sidelines—re-enter the marketplace with .com inventory that would have previously not been available for sale.
In 2018, we witnessed that the demand and sales for premium domains, such as generic one word, two-letter and numeric premium .COM domains have surged. Quite a few of them were bought by end users. End-user demand for premium domains will continue to grow at a rapid rate in 2019.
Single word, generic .com domain names that can be used as a brand for a growing, proven company are increasingly becoming hard to acquire, and will continue to rise in value like any other asset that is in-demand. Couple that with the fact that social media platforms are changing the rules of engagement with customers and that companies will need to spend more time developing customer relationships via email and their own website, and I only see the demand for great .com domains increasing in the foreseeable future.
However, the inundation of alternative top-level domains, coupled with the recent uptake of previously-unknown country code top-level domains by technology startups, means that there are many "just as good" domain name options for new companies and projects -which will continue to depress the average sales price of these types of domain names.