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Values Climb as Volume Declines

by John Burnham, YachtWorld Managing Editor

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Year-over-year sales volume declined for U.S. yacht brokerages from 3,302 to 3,088 boats sold in May—the third successive month of lower sales. According to YachtWorld member brokers reporting in SoldBoats, sales were down compared to May 2016 by 184 powerboats and 30 sailboats, which were similar results on a percentage basis, 7 percent and 6 percent lower, respectively.  

In contrast to those market losses was increased value of sales—a $67 million gain in the price paid for boats during the month, from $405 million to $472 million. That increase almost exactly matched the gain in value of superyachts sold during the month ($66.6 million). But pricing held up better in other segments, too.  

Among smaller boats, 45 feet and shorter, sales volumes declined for the month yet average prices increased, especially among boats under 26 feet, rising from $25,921 to $29,357, up 13 percent.  

Average prices increased in every segment except among boats 46 to 55 feet, which were down 1 percent.  Conversely, that size range showed the best sales growth, gaining 3 percent with 214 boats sold. 

A cold wet spring in some parts of the country likely played a role in May’s results. Regional variations in sales were reported; for example, brokers in Florida bucked the trend, selling 3 percent more boats in May 2017 than May 2016.  

Year to date through May, sales were down nationally by 1 percent, with 11,641 boats sold. The total value of sales increased by 11 percent, on sales of $1.74 billion.  

—John Burnham


Note: A version of this article first appeared in Soundings Trade Only Today.

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