U.S. brokers posted a moderate increase in sales volume in January and a major gain in the total price paid for the boats that were sold.
Brokerage volume rose 5 percent from the same month last year and the total value increased by 62 percent as 1,585 boats sold for $323.3 million.
According to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in SoldBoats, their proprietary database, the dollar value was an extraordinary result — $80 million more than in any other January in the last five years.
On the other hand, although sales were above the previous two years, they were slightly less than the average number of boats sold in January during the previous five years.
Superyacht sales drove most of the increase in value. Seventeen boats 80 feet and larger changed hands during the month for a combined total of $131.6 million, compared with 11 boats in that size range last January that sold for $20.4 million.
Most of the volume gains were in the 26- to 35-foot grouping, where unit sales increased from 527 boats to 593, a 13 percent lift. Sales volumes also increased incrementally among boats under 26 feet, up 3 percent, and 46 to 55 feet, up 6 percent.
The value of the boats sold increased by double-digit percentages in all size ranges below 56 feet, especially among boats 26 to 35 feet, which gained 41 percent, from $29.5 million to $41.6 million. The lone category with lower values, 56 to 79 feet, experienced a 17 percent drop in sales volume and a 27 percent decline in total value.
Powerboat sales for the month were up strongly — 11 percent — as 1,302 boats were sold; sailboat sales declined 17 percent as 283 boats changed owners. All of the value gains in the month were in powerboat sales, although the value drop in sailboat sales was only 14 percent; there was a 4 percent increase for the month in the average sailboat price paid.
John Burnham is the managing editor of Dominion Marine Media.
A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the March issue of Soundings Trade Only.