On October 3, 2011, we noted that NNNNN.com domains (five digit .com domains) were all sold out.
A month later, they remain all bought out.
Unlike the buyout in February 2008, this one did not happen in a frenzy of registration, where 20,000 domains disappeared over the course of one month. Rather, the registration rate has been around 10-15/day for the last two years, representing a steady accumulation of these domains and an increase in long-term holders (domains registered for longer than one year).
At this point there are only about 30% of the domains that are on 1-year registration, this figure has been steadily dropping 10% each year for the last 7 years. It is likely that if the buyout sticks it will drop even more, and by this time next year only 10-15% of the domains will be on 1-year registration, if that many.
Prices are increasing as well, as well as volume of sales, for those who have been following 4.cn. For example, 37777.com sold for 4600 RMB last week, or $724 USD. 47666.com sold for 1500 RMB, or $236 USD.
So far the buyout has stuck for a month. Will it last? Stay tuned.