The market for used personal computers continues to grow in places such as Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, providing lucrative opportunities for vendors that sell secondhand equipment, according to a Gartner research report.

Demand is exceeding supply in some regions for so-called secondary-market PCs, defined by the IT research firm as a computer that has been used for more than three months by its primary user and then passed on. Gartner released a summary of its seven-page report on Wednesday.

The home and professional markets for used PCs are expected to grow over the next few years. As recycling legislation becomes more common, organizations have a greater incentive to sell their used PCs. As PC performance has improved, it may mean an increase in PC availability, Gartner said.

One in 12 PCs in use worldwide are secondary PCs, and 152.5 million were shipped in 2004, Gartner said. For every two new PCs shipped in mature markets in 2005, one secondary market PC will be resold.

The majority of PCs come from supplier nations such as the US, Japan and Western Europe. Other regions with demand for secondary PCs include Latin America and parts of the Asia-Pacific region.