The number of domain names being sold continues to defy the economic downturn, according to the latest figures from domain name marketplace Sedo.
The firm's Secondary Domain Market Study Q3 2009 (PDF) found that the number of domains, or properties, being exchanged had increased by 5.5 per cent, and that the value of these transfers was over £14m.
Sedo compares its virtual sales to those in the offline property index, specifically the Halifax property index.
While real property sales had also grown, they were outstripped by those in the virtual world. Sedo said that the number of houses being sold had risen by seven per cent in the past six months, while the number of domains being exchanged had grown by 14 per cent.
"Although the offline property market is only now beginning to show green shoots, sales of domain names in the online world have continued to blossom throughout the economic crisis," said Nora Nanayakkara, director of business development at Sedo.
"Recent studies have proved that keyword domain investments can improve conversions on pay-per-click campaigns, while improving natural search rankings and generating a rapid return for potential investors."
Interestingly, despite the number of new country and industry specific domains being released, .com is still the most popular web address. Domains with the .com suffix accounted for more than 45 per cent of all new sales on the marketplace, Sedo said, while their average price had risen by 37 per cent to £1,412.
"A variety of domain names were sold in the last quarter, displaying the diversity of online investment taking place," explained Nanayakkara.
"The top category of domains sold was 'Regions, Country, Cities' followed by 'Employment', and the third most popular was 'Hardware'.
"As the value of online assets continues to mature, it makes sense to review and expand domain investments regularly to ensure that engagement in the web remains as profitable as possible."
Big sellers during the quarter included Calll.com, which went for £678,750, Server.com, which went for £478,144, and Christian.com, which went for £366,917.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago