Brokerage sales drop in July

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Sales of brokerage boats declined in July with volume off 8 percent and the total value of boats sold off 1 percent compared with the same month a year earlier.

A total of 3,287 boats were sold for $297 million in July; in the same month last year, 3,569 boats were sold for $300 million, according to reports by YachtWorld member brokerages in their proprietary database, SoldBoats.com.

Powerboat and sailboat sales were down equally; 2,753 powerboats were sold, a decline of 8 percent from 2,981 last year, and 534 sailboats were sold, a 9 percent decrease from 588 during the previous July. The aggregate price paid for powerboats was virtually level, at $257 million; for sailboats it declined 5 percent from $43 million to 40 million.

The biggest decline in sales occurred among boats 26 to 35 feet as 1,234 were reported sold, a drop of 15 percent from 1,447 last July. Boats of less than 26 feet also sold more slowly as 1,124 changed hands for an 8 percent decrease.

By contrast, sales of boats 46 to 55 feet increased by 19 percent as 182 were sold and sales of boats 36 to 45 feet increased 1 percent with 663 sold. The latter category was also notable for showing significant growth in the total price paid, a 10 percent increase from $78 million to $85 million.

Because the volume of sales for the month declined at a faster rate (or in some cases rose at a slower rate) than the total value paid, average sale prices generally improved during the month in the United States.

From July 2013 to July 2014, the average price paid for powerboats increased by 8 percent and the average price paid for sailboats rose 4 percent. Among sales of all boats under 45 feet, the average price increased, especially among boats 36 to 45 feet, where it was up 8 percent from $119,000 to $129,000, and boats 26 to 35 feet, where it was also up 8 percent from $53,000 to $57,000.

Among larger boats, sales and pricing trends were mixed. Although, as noted, sales increased 19 percent for boats 46 to 55 feet, the total price paid increased only 6 percent, resulting in an average selling price that was down from $287,000 to $255,000.

By comparison, sales were steady for boats 56 to 79 feet, off 1 percent with 70 boats sold, and the total value of sales increased 6 percent to $41 million, which pushed the average sale price up 7 percent to $592,000.

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

John Burnham is the editorial director of YachtWorld.com.

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