Brokerage sales drop in August

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Sales of brokerage boats in the United States fell 1 percent in August, to 2,731, from 2,745 in the same month a year earlier and the value of those sales declined by 7 percent from $259 million to $240 million.

A drop in sailboat sales was responsible for the decrease in the number of boats changing hands, but lower-priced powerboat sales accounted for almost all of the decline in aggregate value, according to reports by YachtWorld.com member brokerages in their proprietary database, SoldBoats.com.

Powerboat sales were up 1 percent, from 2,220 boats to 2,237 boats, but the pricing of those boats was down from $220 million to $202 million. Sailboat sales were off 6 percent, with 494 boats sold, but the total value of those sales was down less than $1 million, from $38.4 million to $37.8 million.

The average sale price for a sailboat actually rose by $5,000, to $78,000, between August 2011 and 2012, and the average powerboat price fell by $9,000, to $90,000.

By length, brokers saw the most improvement in the 26- to 35-foot category, where 1,121 boats were sold, up 2 percent from 1,095 a year earlier. The aggregate price paid was 7 percent higher, up from $55 million to $59 million. Boats 36 to 45 feet showed similar gains, up 1 percent in volume with 596 boats sold, and 12 percent in value, with $76 million in transactions.

Aggregate prices were lower in all larger-size categories, particularly among boats 56 to 80 feet, where 52 boats were sold. That was seven fewer than in August 2011, bringing in $27 million, 44 percent less than the $49 million in total sales a year earlier.

Declining in sales and aggregate value for the first time in 2012 was the under-26-foot category, down 6 percent in sales and 6 percent in total value, with 810 boats sold for $16 million.

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

— John Burnham

YachtWorld.com editorial director

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