Measured against June 2010 — or any other month in recent years — U.S. yacht brokerage sales continued to improve in June. Data that YachtWorld.com member brokerages contributed to Soldboats.com showed that 3,446 boats valued at $411 million changed hands, increasing 1 percent and 43 percent, respectively, from sales in June of last year.
By prerecession standards the numbers are unremarkable, but the gain pushed brokerage sales to their highest monthly level since 2007. The 3,446 boats sold in June also beat the five-year sales average, and that has not often happened in any month during the last year.
On top of that, the $411 million in total sales would have been the highest monthly valuation in recent years if not for the extraordinary $552 million in sales in May. Together, the two months’ results total nearly $1 billion of the $1.9 billion in sales for the year through June. By comparison, brokerage sales last year were stronger in the first few months, but sales for the first six months of 2010 were only $1.6 billion.
An increase in the sales of large yachts and super-yachts fueled a large part of June’s higher sales values, as they did in May. Although June sales of $174 million for boats over 55 feet were overshadowed by the $317 million in May sales of the same size of boats, sales of boats in that size range were still up nearly 200 percent from the value of sales in June 2010. The 46- to 55-foot range also showed double-digit growth in June, with 183 boats sold, and a 7 percent gain for the year through June, with 832 boats sold.
Despite these gains, the market has not been uniformly robust. In units sold and the total value of sales, the middle and smaller size ranges were down slightly for the first half of 2011, compared with 2010. One sign of improvement in June, however, was that sales of boats 26 to 35 feet were up 5 percent, compared to the previous June, with 1,403 boats sold. For the first six months of the year the category was down 1 percent, with 6,156 boats sold.
John Burnham is editorial director of Dominion Marine Media.
This article originally appeared in the August 2011 issue.