Brokerage sales drop in February

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U.S. brokerage sales fell in February as 1,607 boats changed hands, 7 percent fewer than in the same month a year earlier, when 1,729 were sold.

Based on reports by YachtWorld member brokerages to SoldBoats.com, their proprietary database, February marked the second month in a row with lower sales. For the two months combined, sales were off 6 percent with 3,243 boats reported sold.

Also similar to January, the total value of the boats sold in February rose, compared with the previous year, to $213.3 million for a 3 percent gain. Most of the value gains were in the superyacht category (over 80 feet) with $62.1 million in sales, an increase of $11 million. The rest of the market showed a 4 percent decline of $6 million.

The power and sail segments of the market were affected by February’s lower sales volume. Powerboat sales were down 7 percent to 1,300 and sailboat sales were down 9 percent to 307. Because of the superyacht segment, the aggregate price paid for powerboats was up 5 percent; the price paid for sailboats was off 9 percent, consistent with the lower sales volume in that category.

Decreased sales of boats smaller than 26 feet accounted for more than half of the volume dip in February; 523 boats were sold in that category, down 11 percent from 588 a year earlier. On a percentage basis, the number of boats sold in the 46- to 55-foot range decreased by the most, 20 percent, with 84 boats sold.

One notable anomaly in February was in sales of sailboats from 36 to 45 feet, which increased by 4 percent with 123 boats sold. The total value of sailboats sold in this size range was $14.3 million, an increase of 15 percent.

The other segment to show volume growth was boats 56 to 79 feet, which increased 24 percent from 34 to 42 boats sold. The total price paid was up 1 percent, indicating lower average prices paid among boats of this size.

A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the April issue of Soundings Trade Only.

John Burnham is the editorial director of YachtWorld.com.

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