March Brokerage: U.S. Volume Lower, Pricing Higher

by | Apr 20, 2015 | Boats Group, News

After a good sales month in February, U.S. yacht brokerages reported selling only 2,203 boats in March. While that was 501 more boats than in February, it was a decrease of 11 percent compared to the previous March. On the other hand, according to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in, the total value of March sales, $321 million, was 20 percent more than March, a year earlier.

Largely responsible for this increased valuation was the recent sale of higher-price superyachts; in the market segment over 80 feet, the volume of sales rose by 2 boats from one March to the next, but the total price reported paid more than doubled, from $52 million to $111 million.

Sales declined in March 2015 compared with the same month in 2014, yet the total value of boats sold was up more than $50 million.

Exclusive of the superyacht market, the sold prices of brokerage boats was also a strength. While the total price of all boat sales under 80 feet declined by 2 percent, the average sale prices increased 10 percent, from $88,000 to $96,000.

The number of powerboat sales in March decreased 11 percent, down 234 boats to 1,811, compared to the previous March. Yet thanks to superyacht sales, the total value of the boats sold climbed 24 percent, from $235 million to $292 million. The decline in the volume of sailboat sales was less, by 6 percent, with 392 boats sold, but without a “superyacht effect”, the total value of the boats that were sold also decreased—in this case by $29 million, or 10 percent.

Power and sailboat sales were lower by double-digit percentages in all market segments below 45 feet in March. The total value of boats sold increased by 4 percent in the smallest category, boats under 26 feet, but declined by 10 percent in both the 26- to 35-foot and the 36- to 45-foot ranges.

Among larger boats, sales volume improved in March. Volume and values were up not only among superyachts but in the 56- to 79-foot bracket, in which 61 boats were sold, a 5 percent gain, and the total price paid for boats sold was $48 million, a 17 percent increase.

In the 46- to 55-foot range, which had been stronger recently, sales were up 4 percent, with 127 boats sold, but the total price paid decreased 3 percent to $36 million.

John Burnham, Boats Group Editorial Director