Our data from January 2013 to September 2014 indicates that the next several months could be optimal for U.S. business owners looking to sell for the best price.
Even though lending has been more restrictive the last few months, some states are experiencing significant increases in the average sale price of small businesses, including Alabama, California, Delaware, New Mexico, Michigan and Indiana.
Inquiries into businesses for sale have been trending upward for the past six months, with interest spiking the most in auto repair shops, convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants and retailers, according to BusinessesForSale.com data.
This aligns with a recent study by The National Employment Law Project, which found strongest growth in restaurants and retail trades—businesses that typically pay the federal minimum wage.
We also found that inquiries into our business listings so far this year are substantially higher than 2013—with third quarter 2014 inquiries 350 percent higher than third quarter 2013.
We are not surprised by the data trends as our recent survey reflected an increase in overall business optimism. More than 70 percent of 1,053 survey respondents expressed a positive attitude towards the economy.
The survey also showed that nearly 50 percent of business buyers are in Generation X (born 1965-1980), with many having the financial means to invest in a business without borrowing.
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