Sales of small businesses are poised to hit record levels in 2014, a new analysis shows. BizBuySell.com, an online marketplace for buying or selling a small business, has revealed that 1,987 business sale transactions closed in the third quarter this year.
That’s a nearly 18% increase from last year and the most sales recorded in a third quarter since BizBuySell started monitoring transactions in 2007.
Encouragingly, say analysts, total numbers this quarter edged down just 2.1% from the second quarter of 2014, which remains the most active quarter for small-business sales since before the recession that hit at the end of 2008. The third-quarter performance keeps 2014 on pace to experience the highest number of small-business transactions since the report’s inception. Another indication that 2014 sales could reach a new high watermark is that total listings were up 2.2% from the same time last year. There was notable growth in the number of manufacturing businesses (4.1%), service-industry businesses (3.9%) and restaurants (3.5%) on offer.
“After seeing a return to robust transaction activity during 2013, it’s good to see that we have not plateaued and both buyers and sellers are still eager to make deals happen,” says Bob House, group general manager of BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com. “There remains a strong supply of quality small businesses on the market. As the economy and financing options continue to improve, buyers remain very interested in acquiring small businesses.”
That interest is driving an apparent shift in the marketplace, with sellers now receiving higher prices for their businesses. The median sale price for small companies sold during the third quarter rose 5% compared to last year – $180,000 to $189,000. During the quarter, sellers received approximately 95% of their asking price, which is the highest percentage BizBuySell has reported since before mid-2008.