Brokerage sales drop in December

U.S. brokerage sales tailed off by 4 percent in December.

U.S. brokerage sales tailed off by 4 percent in December, compared with the same month in 2015, as 1,537 boats were sold, a 72-boat decline.

Yet the total value of sales increased 7 percent with $274.8 million changing hands, according to reports by YachtWorld members in SoldBoats, their proprietary database.

The lower sales volume was caused mainly by a drop in smaller-boat sales. For boats under 26 feet, sales were down 10 percent as 333 were sold. Among boats from 26 to 35 feet, the decline was 6 percent as 566 were sold.

Combined, sales volume in the two size ranges was 74 boats lower than in December of last year, and modest increases in most of the other size ranges could not make up the difference.

The higher dollar value of December sales was attributable to gains in four of six size ranges. A three-boat increase in sales of boats larger than 80 feet delivered the biggest increase, $14 million, even though the average price paid for boats in the size range declined from $5.7 million to $5.5 million.

Perhaps more significant, although 1 percent more boats from 36 to 45 feet were sold, their total valuation rose 12 percent. The total price paid for the 443 boats that changed hands was $68.1 million, up from $60.7 million last December. A smaller $2.3 million gain was made among boats from 46 to 55 feet.

Among all boats 45 feet and shorter, higher average prices also contributed, despite generally lower sales. In the under-26-foot range, the average price increased 10 percent to $28,360. In the 26-to-35-foot range, the average price was 9 percent higher at $69,453.

For the year, comparing all of 2016 with all of 2015, sales volume decreased 3 percent from 30,223 to 29,431 boats sold. The aggregate price paid increased 1 percent from $3.7 billion to $3.73 billion.

John Burnham is the managing editor of Dominion Marine Media.

A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the February issue ofSoundings Trade Only.