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Brokerage sales in January up from 2009

Yacht brokerage sales results in the United States in January were higher than the same month a year earlier, but down somewhat from December 2009.

According to sales reported by YachtWorld.com member brokers, unit sales improved over January 2009 by 29 percent, with 1,610 boats sold, and valuation of boats sold increased even more, by 42 percent, to $190.5 million. Despite those gains, the number of boats sold in January, compared to December, fell by 106 boats, and total valuation dropped by $53 million.

December and January are normally the weakest sales months of the year, based on average sales data from the last five years, with December weaker from 2005-2007 and January weaker in recent years. However, the number of boats sold in January 2010 slipped by another measure, dropping slightly below the five-year average, in contrast to sales in November and December 2009, which equaled or exceeded the five-year average.

On the plus side for many brokers, bigger boats continued to sell significantly better compared to the same month of the previous year. While sales of boats up to 55 feet long were up 25 to 30 percent, 66 boats over 55 feet changed hands, which represented a 78 percent increase from January 2009.

Powerboats led the increase in January, with a 30 percent increase in units and a 45 percent increase in valuation over January 2009. By comparison, sailboat sales improved by 26 percent in terms of units and valuation.

A detailed report on January 2010 brokerage sales, including a special report on West Coast sales, will appear in the upcoming issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— John Burnham, YachtWorld.com

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