The BizBen Index (www.bizben.com/stats/stats-total.php) provides statistics of small businesses that have been sold within California. The data goes back to 2007 and includes breakdown at both the county and city levels. These business sales were recorded by small business owners, business brokers, and agents throughout the state of California. Although not a complete list of every business sold, it is thought to be comprehensive enough to gauge trends.
Across the entire State, the number of businesses sold as tracked by BizBen increased 1% in 2017 as compared to the prior year. However, this is an 8% increase over 2015 numbers and indicates a healthy market and one that continues to climb back from the great recession.
Charting the BizBen Index for San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties separately, all seem to show the same trend as the State data did. As compared to the prior year, 2017 business sales in San Diego and Riverside counties were down 4% and Orange County rose 5%. However, as compared to 2015 the numbers are up 11%, 26% and 9% respectively.
Optimism among both buyers and sellers seems to indicate that these numbers will continue to trend positive throughout 2018.