IPv4 price forecasts for 2022-2023

Having received more than a few requests for a followup post on IPv4 price projections, I finally found some time for it over the summer.

Here are updated plots of forecasts for the two coming years, using price information (in any allocation size) from ipv4.global (previously Hilco Streambank).

The dataset used for building the model is from Jan 31st 2017 to Aug 10th 2021. I’ve changed from SARIMAX to Facebook’s Prophet, as it seems to provide a more reliable and (for me) reasonable results.

Key points

Forecast says prices will increase by 100% in both ARIN and RIPE by March 2023.

Prices in ARIN and RIPE have nearly doubled so far in 2021.

Price for a /22 in RIPE increased by 23,1% from Jan 1st 2020 to Dec 31st 2020.

Other observations and commentary

One observation worth noting in the plot, is that something is going on in ARIN right now. After the summer prices have spiked (up to 60 USD per address!), and if this continues I think the forecast will be quite off.

I’ve also played a bit with the components that Prophet fits to make these forecasts, and one interesting thing shows up in the yearly seasonality plot for ARIN:

Forecast trend component for in-year seasonality in ARIN region

It would seem that, in ARIN, buying secondhand IPv4 space is cheapest early in the year, and most expensive after the summer. (In the RIPE dataset this is not the case)

Validation-wise I’ve run the usual cross validation and and attempted to get the fit as good as possible. When fitting separate models with 2 years of data from Feb 2017, moving forward 1 month per model, and using it to forecast 2 years into the future, validation showed that the forecasts were from 17% to 30% off on RIPE dataset and 5% to 23% off on the ARIN dataset. I’m sure there is more to be done here, but I haven’t had the chance to do a deep dive in it.

Review of previous projection

Looking back, my projections in Some IPv4 address price forecasting were made January 2019.

The average price per IPv4 address (across all scope sizes) was then slightly above 20 USD.

My projections were 24 USD for January 1st 2020, and 28 USD for January 1st 2021.

The actual (average) IPv4 price for January 1st 2020 was 21.515652 USD, and for January 1st 2021 it was 24.272414 USD.

The estimates were a bit on the high side, but then again the pandemic may have slowed down things. The lower and upper estimation bounds were wide enough that the real prices were well within.

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